AUGUSTA — The prosecution and defense will meet again next month to decide whether there will be a second trial for a Lincoln County deputy accused of sexually assaulting three girls.

A status conference was held Wednesday, Dec. 20 in Kennebec County Superior in the case of 47-year-old Kenneth L. Hatch but there was nothing addressed on the record after that meeting, said Assistant Attorney General John Risler. The two sides met with a judge for a half hour.

Another conference on whether to retry him is scheduled for Jan. 12.

The jury in the first trial deadlocked Nov. 20 on 20 counts and acquitted Hatch on two other counts.

The Whitefield resident was charged with 22 felonies — 11 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, three counts of unlawful sexual contact, and eight counts of aggravated furnishing of marijuana. He was accused of sexually assaulting three girls and providing them marijuana and alcohol in exchange for sex.

Hatch was found not guilty on one count of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of aggravated furnishing of marijuana.

Risler had no other comment on the status of the case.

A telephone message was left Wednesday afternoon with Hatch’s attorney Richard Elliott but there was no immediate response.

Hatch has been on unpaid leave from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office since he was charged in June 2016.

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