SKOWHEGAN — A former Skowhegan woman entered pleas of not guilty Thursday to two felony charges of unlawful sexual contact with two girls under the age of 12.

Amy Lorene Bussard, 43, showing addresses in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and Leesburg, Florida, appeared Thursday afternoon in Skowhegan District Court via video conference from the Somerset County Jail in East Madison.

Represented by Philip Mohlar, the lawyer of the day, Bussard pleaded not guilty to two separate charges of unlawful sexual contact, both class B felony charges punishable with a conviction by up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $20,000 on each charge. She told District Court Judge Andrew Benson that she understood the charges against her and that there is a risk of incarceration if she is found guilty.

According to court documents, Bussard is alleged to have had sexual contact with the two girls, who both were under 12. The first case is alleged to have taken place on or about July 1, 2011, in Skowhegan. The second case is alleged to have happened to a different girl on or about Aug. 1, 2011, also in Skowhegan.

The girls have the same last name. The Morning Sentinel is not listing the named victims because they are the alleged victims of child sexual abuse.

Skowhegan police Chief David Bucknam said in January that Bussard was arrested on a Somerset County warrant Jan. 15 by officers from the Okmulgee Police Department in Oklahoma. The warrant has been sealed, he said.

He said Deputy Chief Brian Gardiner and Officer Tifani Warren, of the Skowhegan police, flew to Oklahoma with extradition papers to bring Bussard back to Maine to face charges. He said the officers dropped Bussard off at the county jail Wednesday night without incident.

The arrest warrant was issued by the Somerset County courts stemming from a grand jury indictment on two charges of unlawful sexual contact.

The alleged crimes took place about eight years ago and involved two underage girls, Bucknam said.

He said the girls came forward recently to disclose the assaults.

Detective Michael Bachelder, the investigating officer, originally found Bussard in Leesburg, Florida, where she was interviewed by detectives there on his behalf before police obtained the warrant, Bucknam said.

He said Bussard moved back to her hometown in Oklahoma, where Bachelder contacted local authorities and brought the warrant to their attention, and she was arrested.

Bail was set Thursday at $20,000 cash. If Bussard manages to post bail, she is ordered not to have contact with the girls or anyone else under the age of 18 and to go no closer than 1,000 feet from a school, day care center or playground.

Bussard is scheduled to appear April 17 for a dispositional hearing in court in Skowhegan. Her bail can be reviewed once she fills out the necessary paperwork for a court-appointed attorney and one is appointed to represent her, the judge said.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]




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