AUGUSTA — A man accused of sexually assaulting a girl younger than 12 in Mount Vernon is seeking to have his bail conditions — which bar him from having contact with anyone under the age of 16 — amended so he can live with his fiancée and her two children.

Anthony J. Mecham, 30, of Livermore Falls, pleaded not guilty to one count of gross sexual assault, a class A felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and one count of visual sexual aggression against a child, a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, in a court hearing Tuesday.

Through his attorney, Brad Grant, Mecham also asked Justice Robert Mullen to amend his bail conditions, which bar him from contact with anyone under 16, to allow him to have contact with children under the age of 16 as long as they are supervised by their parent.

Grant said Mecham wants to live with his fiancée, who has two children under 16. His fiancée spoke in favor of Mecham being allowed to do so and testified that he would be around her children only when she is home with them, and that he would leave the home when she is away.

State prosecutor Frayla Tarpinian, assistant district attorney, spoke against allowing Mecham to have contact with children. She said the sexual assault charges filed against him involved the minor daughter of a woman he was living with at the time, a situation similar to the one proposed.

“His contact with minor children puts him in the exact same position,” Tarpinian said. “The state believes that does provide a risk to the minor children in the household.”

Grant said Mecham is living with his grandmother, but there so many other people are residing there that he’s been staying outside her home in a boxcar. He said the sexual assault of which Mecham is accused occurred when he was alone with the person identified as the victim, and he would not be allowed to be with his fiancée’s children without her being present under the terms of his proposed bail amendment.

Grant said that if Mecham were convicted of the crime of which he is accused, he’d likely be allowed to have contact with children under 14 if supervised. Therefore, Grant said, Mecham should be allowed to be around children with supervision now, when he has not been convicted of a crime.

Mullen didn’t rule on the motion to amend bail Tuesday in court at the Capital Judicial Center, saying he needed time to consider it before deciding.

Mecham, who was indicted on the gross sexual assault and visual sexual aggression charges last week, allegedly engaged in a sexual act with a girl younger than 12 sometime between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2018, at a residence in Mount Vernon, according to an affidavit filed in court by Detective John Bourque, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office was notified by a state Department of Health and Human Services worker after the girl told an official at the school she now attends that she had been sexually abused.

The girl told authorities Mecham made her engage in a sexual act with him.

When police interviewed him, Mecham initially denied anything inappropriate had occurred, according to the affidavit; however, he later admitted during the interview, according to the affidavit, that the girl might have observed him masturbating in the shower and also in his bed.

 

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