SKOWHEGAN — A Palmyra man will spend the next 18 months in prison and must register as a sex offender for 25 years after pleading guilty this month to felony sexual assault against a child.

Darren J. Potter, 28, was indicted by a Somerset County grand jury in June on charges of unlawful sexual contact, visual sexual aggression against a child, unlawful sexual touching and terrorizing June 14 in Pittsfield.

According to court documents, Potter pleaded guilty to the charge of visual sexual aggression against a child — exposing his genitals to a girl who was 11 years old after he slipped into her bed. The other charges were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

He was sentenced by Superior Court Justice Robert Mullen to five years in custody of the state Department of Corrections, with all but the 18 months suspended. He will serve three years on probation once he is released and must register as a Tier II sex offender, meaning he will have to verify his whereabouts with law enforcement every six months for 25 years and pay a $25 annual registration fee.

Failure to register with law enforcement is punishable by up to a year in jail as a class D misdemeanor for the first offense. A second offense is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison. A third offense is a class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

He also is ordered to have no contact with the victim or her mother or any other child under the age of 18, with the exception of approved, supervised visits with a family member.

If Potter violates his probation with any new criminal conduct, he stands to serve a portion of or all of the remaining five-year sentence.

According to the probable cause for charges affidavit written by Detective Ryan Brockway, of the Maine State Police, Potter climbed into bed with the girl and exposed himself. The other charges of unlawful sexual touching and contact were dropped along with a terrorizing charge for reportedly telling the girl that he would shoot her family and himself if she told anyone.

The girl resisted, but Potter reportedly suggested he’d be back for more. He reportedly also gave her $2 as compensation.

The girl told her guidance counselor at school about the assault. She later told a worker from the state Department of Health and Human Services, an emergency room doctor and her mother.

The affidavit said she was crying and convulsing as she told her story.

Potter has a lengthy criminal history, according to the court documents. He had convictions for violating the conditions of release, criminal threatening, criminal mischief, assault and terrorizing over the past six or seven years, for which he served jail time.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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