AUBURN — A 36-year-old man who kidnapped and sexually touched a 14-year-old girl was sentenced Thursday to 13 years in prison.

Two charges of gross sexual assault brought by a grand jury against Travis Therrien, of Greene, were dismissed by prosecutors. He must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Prosecutors said the victim, who is developmentally delayed, was in a local store parking lot in December 2016 when a man driving a pickup truck offered her a ride. She asked that he take her to a motel because she was cold.

The man, who called himself Travis, instead drove her to his home in Greene, which is in Androscoggin County.

The girl later recalled details inside Therrien’s home, including a fish tank, weathered boarding and a wedding photo, Assistant District Attorney Michael Dumas said.

Had the case gone to trial, the girl would have testified that Therrien gave her clothes to wear: a white tank top and black underpants with a gray waistband.

“Therrien led her into the bedroom, got on top of her and had compulsory sexual intercourse with her,” Dumas said.

Defense attorneys would dispute this assertion, claiming there was no DNA evidence to support that conclusion.

The girl later told law enforcement authorities that she repeatedly attempted to push Therrien off her, Dumas said.

After a sleepless night, the girl was given her clothes to wear and driven to downtown Lewiston where Therrien dropped her off. She made her way to a diner in New Auburn, where she was recognized as a missing person, Dumas said.

Police were called.

The girl was able to describe several of Therrien’s tattoos, including a large spider and a naked woman on his thigh, Dumas said.

After she was returned to her mother, the girl was able to retrace the route to Therrien’s home, where he answered a knock on his door.

Androscoggin County Detective Thomas Slivinski reportedly would have testified at Therrien’s trial that he presented a search warrant at Therrien’s home and found items the victim had described, including the clothing the girl was told to wear. Slivinski noted Therrien’s pickup truck matched the description given by the girl.

A sexual assault kit from the girl showed sperm cells, but not enough to produce a DNA profile for testing, Dumas said.

Defense Attorney Edward Rabasco told Chief Justice Roland Cole, who presided over the case at Androscoggin County Superior Court, that the plea agreement included the misdemeanor crime of unlawful sexual touching, but not the gross sexual assaults.

Rabasco pointed to contributing factors that led to the plea agreement and dismissal of charges of gross sexual assault, including a lack of DNA evidence, issues of credibility and the unavailability of witnesses.

“This plea agreement is consistent with our defense,” Rabasco said.

Prosecutors had offered Therrien a plea with a split sentence, meaning he could have served seven years of a 12-year sentence for kidnapping plus 364 days for the misdemeanor, for a total of one day shy of 13 years. After his release, he would have been on probation for four years.

But Therrien preferred a straight sentence with no probation. When asked by the judge whether he wanted to explain his “unusual” choice, Therrien declined. He was convicted of unlawful sexual touching, but was given no punishment for that crime.

Although Therrien’s criminal history includes no sex crimes or crimes of violence, he has a history of violating conditions of release and violations of probation, Dumas said.

The victim’s mother read in court a five-page handwritten account of her daughter’s disappearance, her worry and the search, followed by her discovery of the events her daughter had experienced at Therrien’s hands.

In court, her mother fixed her eyes on Therrien, then read a five-page handwritten account of the ordeal.

“He has no place to run from me and he has to hear my anger and frustration with him and the course of events that me and my child have had to face over the past year,” she said.

The mother described the frantic search for her daughter, who is developmentally and intellectually challenged. She told of the call from police that they found her daughter, who needed to go to the hospital and be tested for rape.

“I was sick to my stomach,” she said. “This should not be happening.”

She listened as her daughter recounted for police and forensic psychologists the past night’s events, the woman told Justice Cole, as her daughter stood next to her, reassuring her with a hand on her back.

“I wanted you dead at that very moment,” the victim’s mother told Therrien, who stood handcuffed in a blue jail suit.

She described how her daughter led her to Therrien’s home where he refused to open his door.

“You truly are a coward,” she read from her statement.

She said her daughter was a victim, but “is not weak. She was violated by you, but you did not conquer her.”

“Today,” the victim’s mother continued, “she takes back that power you took from her.”

Asked by the judge whether he wanted to address the court about his plea and sentencing, Therrien declined.

The president of the Maine Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse, who goes by the name “Roadkill,” sits in Androscoggin Superior Court in Auburn with over a dozen fellow club members on Thursday in support of the young victim of Travis Therrien. Sun Journal/Andree Kehn

Also in the courtroom were more than a dozen members of Bikers Against Child Abuse, a nonprofit organization that offers physical and emotional support to children who have been abused, according to the group’s literature.

“We empower children not to live in fear of the world in which they live,” said “Roadkill,” the road name of the president of the Maine chapter of the group, which is part of an international organization.

In some cases, empowering a child means standing out in front of the child’s house overnight so that child is able to feel safe enough to sleep, he said. Sometimes it means paying for a child’s therapy.

In cases that go to trial, the group’s aim is to “empower that child to find the strength and to remove the fear for them to stand up against their perpetrator and testify in court,” Roadkill said. “And it works.”

In this case, it meant assigning to the girl two members, who can call upon the full membership at any time, he said in an interview after Thursday’s hearing.

“She’s been a part of the family for a while now,” he said of the victim. And she knows “that we’re going to show up. In many cases, when we show up, we’re scarier than the abuser and that’s part of why this works.”

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