A Starks man was arrested last week and charged with sexually assaulting a minor over a three-year period, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Keith Merchant Courtesy photo

Keith Merchant, 43, was arrested Thursday by a sheriff’s detective after authorities received a complaint earlier in the week alleging Merchant had assaulted a minor in Starks, Sheriff Dale Lancaster said in a news release. The victim was under the age of 15, Lancaster said.

An investigation into the matter was led by Detective Jeremy Leal, who took Merchant into custody without incident, the sheriff said.

Merchant was charged with two counts of gross sexual assault, three counts of unlawful sexual contact, two counts of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of violating conditions of release.

He was being held Tuesday at the Somerset County Jail on a $50,000 cash bail. His bail conditions include not contacting the alleged victim or any person under the age of 18, Lancaster said.

Merchant had an initial court appearance in Skowhegan on Friday and his next court date is scheduled for Oct. 25.

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