FARMINGTON — State police say a man charged with sexual assault was found Monday night hanging from bed sheets in his cell at the Franklin County jail.

Stephen Tripp, 35, of Strong, died Tuesday morning at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Tripp was arrested Friday on felony charges of gross sexual assault and possessing sexually explicit material depicting a child under 12 years old, according to an affidavit filed in a Farmington court by Detective Herbert Leighton, of the Major Crimes Unit of the Maine State Police.

Leighton began an investigation of Tripp in mid-October. Police found sexually explicit photos of girls on a cellphone after a witness provided the phone to police. One girl was photographed multiple times over the past nine years, according to the affidavit.

Tripp was being held without bail Monday at the Franklin County Detention Center.

State police investigate all deaths of inmates in Maine jails and will work with Franklin County personnel in the investigation of Tripp’s death.

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