AUGUSTA — An Oakland man indicted on charge of sexually assaulting a child pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday.

Ronald A. Mullen, 57, is accused of unlawful sexual contact involving a child under 12. He was arraigned at the Capital Judicial Center via video from the Kennebec County jail.

The indictment says the offense took place Nov. 22, 2017, in Oakland. Mullen was arrested Friday and spent the weekend in the jail. He originally had been scheduled for arraignment Monday, but jail personnel and the lawyer of the day, Dennis Jones, told the judge that Mullen was unable to appear because of mental health problems.

On Wednesday, attorney Stephen Bourget said Mullen was not brought into the jail’s courtroom again because of his mental health.

However, Stokes ordered Mullen brought in.

“I think the rule contemplates he has to see a judge within a (certain) time or else we could have somebody held incommunicado indefinitely,” Stokes said.

When Mullen appeared, he was visibly distraught, crying aloud, constantly running his hands through his hair, and bending almost in half from the waist.

Stokes explained the charge to Mullen and asked whether he understood it. “I don’t really like this,” Mullen said, but acknowledged to attorney Bourget, who was acting as lawyer of the day, that he understood the charge.

Stokes said he would enter a not guilty plea for Mullen and appoint an attorney to represent him. He also told Mullen he was ordering a mental evaluation to determine whether he was competent to face the charge, and Mullen said he would cooperate with the evaluation.

Assistant District Attorney Carie James asked for $500 cash bail with conditions prohibiting Mullen from having contact with the girl identified as the victim and her family as well as all children under 16.

However, Bourget said Mullen’s family could not post cash bail. Bourget said Mullen would reside with his wife, continue to see the private-sector mental health workers, and take his prescribed medication — something he has been unable to get in the jail.

Stokes set bail at $5,000 unsecured and ordered Mullen to stay at his home except for medical or legal appointments and emergencies. Mullen also was ordered to take medications as prescribed.

Mullen agreed he would stay at his home.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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