AUGUSTA — Bail for a Litchfield man arrested and charged in connection with allegations that he sexually assaulted a young girl was set Friday at $10,000 cash.

Daniel S. Gauthier, 46, made an initial appearance Friday at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta via video from the Kennebec County jail. He had been arrested Thursday night.

A complaint filed at the court charges him with one count of gross sexual assault on a girl under age 12, which allegedly occurred in the period of July 24, 2011, to July 23, 2017, and one count of unlawful sexual contact, which allegedly occurred in the period of July 24, 2011, to Nov. 27, 2017, on the same girl, who was under age 14. The complaint says both offenses occurred in Litchfield.

When Judge Paul Mathews read him the first charge aloud and asked if he understood it, Gauthier said, “I don’t believe it but I understand it.”

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney David Spencer, asked for the $10,000 cash bail with conditions prohibiting Gauthier from contact with the girl identified as the victim and with children under age 16.

Mathews agreed over the objection of attorney James Mason, who was representing Gauthier as lawyer of the day.

“We don’t object to the conditions,” Mason said. “We do object to the amount. What we’re asking for is $1,000 cash bail.”

He said Gauthier has “essentially no criminal history at all,” barring a theft conviction from the mid-1990s.

Mason said Gauthier’s mother and spouse were in the courtroom and that if Gauthier is held on the higher bail, he would lose his job.

“Bail is not punishment,” Mason said. “To have an amount set specifically to ensure he does not get out is penal.”

Mason also said that both the girl and her mother live in Montana.

Spencer said the state has concerns that support the higher bail. “This was a repeated situation involving a very young child,” Spencer said.

Mathews set bail as requested by the state after reading an affidavit filed by the investigator, Detective Sgt. Kim Mills, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

“The nature of the offense and the age of the child involved, to this court at least, creates a public safety issue with regard to this defendant’s release,” Mathews said.

After he set the bail, one woman left the courtroom, sobbing aloud.

Mathews said the bail could be reviewed once Gauthier’s attorney enters an appearance.

Gauthier’s next hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. April 17.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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