FARMINGTON — A Madison man pleaded guilty Wednesday to subjecting a woman to unwanted sexual contact and assaulting her April 2, 2019, while on the University of Maine at Farmington campus, according to Franklin County court documents.

Ashton Heald Franklin County Detention Center


Ashton H. Heald, 19, a former UMF student, and the victim, a fellow student, knew each other,  UMF police Sgt. Wayne Drake said last year.

The victim, who reported the incident to campus police, underwent an examination at a hospital, and evidence was collected, Drake previously said. He conducted an investigation and presented a report to the District Attorney’s Office.

Heald was arrested this past summer, and indicted on the Class C unlawful sexual contact charge in October 2019. He was prohibited from going on UMF property after his arrest.

The misdemeanor assault charge was added by way of information at a court appearance.

Heald entered a two-year deferred sentencing agreement sexual contact charge. It outlines what he must do during the next 24 months including undergoing a sexual abuse evaluation and engage in counseling as directed by the counselor, according to court documents.

If he completes the agreement successfully he will be able to withdraw his guilty plea and plead guilty to unlawful sexual touching, a lower-class charge that carries a maximum 364 days in jail.

If the agreement is not completed, Heald will be subject to an open sentence to the charge, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Heald was sentenced to six months on the assault conviction and is currently serving the sentence.

A judge granted the woman a two-year protection from abuse order last year.

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