PERU — A convicted sex offender was sentenced Tuesday to serve nine months of a five-year prison term for sexually assaulting a child under age 14.

Randy Varnum, 46, of Peru, pleaded guilty to gross sexual assault, a Class A felony, and unlawful sexual contact, a Class C felony, in Oxford County Superior Court on May 9.

Randy Varnum Maine Sex Offender Registry photo

According to court documents the assaults occurred in 2012 in Peru.

Varnum will be on probation for two years after his release, with conditions that he have no contact with any child under the age of 16, he undergo treatment and therapy, and be on the Maine Sex Offender Registry for life. 

Varnum was previously convicted of sexual abuse of a minor and put on the Maine Sex Offender Registry for 10 years, according to the registry.

During sentencing Tuesday, Justice Andrew Horton said there was no physical evidence presented and the only testimony would be Varnum’s word against the child’s.

Speaking to the courtroom, Horton said that during his 20 years as a judge he’d seen similar cases before a jury. While some resulted in guilty verdicts with significant sentences, some defendants were found not guilty. Either way, victims were put through the trauma of testifying.

“For a person to come forward and testify, and then for the person charged to be found not guilty, is a really difficult experience for the person who’s come forward,” Horton said. “The state does not have physical evidence or test results a jury could look at.

“My view is that Mr. Varnum has agreed to be convicted,” Horton said. “It may be less time in prison than he would get if he were to be found guilty after a trial … it’s difficult to predict what that outcome would be,” the judge said.

Oxford County Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Winters said the child’s family accepted the sentence, despite their dissatisfaction with the length of it.

Varnum was indicted on the charges in February 2018. He could have faced up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the gross sexual assault charge and up to five years in  prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for the unlawful sexual contact charge.


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