AUGUSTA — A jury found a man guilty of molesting a girl multiple times when she was 9 or 10 years old in West Gardiner.

Aaron C. Engroff, 34, of Holden and previously of Augusta, was convicted of two counts of the felony charge of unlawful sexual contact and one count of the misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual touching following a three-day trial at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.

He was also found not guilty of one count each of unlawful sexual contact and unlawful sexual touching.

Jurors deliberated for several hours before they reached a verdict Wednesday.

In a recorded interview with a Children’s Advocacy Center examiner that was played in court during the trial, the girl said Engroff touched her on multiple occasions at his home in West Gardiner and at the home of a relative in Augusta, in 2020. He allegedly did so at family gatherings, when others had gone to bed, and in one instance when relatives went to Walmart and left the pair alone.

The girl, now 13 and living in New Hampshire, took the stand to testify in court Monday, repeating the claims against Engroff and saying she told the truth in the recorded interview.


The jury found Engroff guilty of the charges that took place in West Gardiner, but not the allegations involving the Augusta residence.

Prosecutors told jurors they should believe what the girl said about what happened, which she disclosed to a relative after Engroff was no longer part of her family because of a divorce. The girl said, in the recorded interview, that she didn’t tell anyone what had happened sooner because she visited Engroff often and she knew “he was capable of doing something.”

She said she told him she wasn’t comfortable and she knew what he was doing to her was wrong. She said he told her what he was doing to her was OK, because she was pretty.

Shannon Flaherty, an assistant district attorney, told jurors in her closing argument that the girl’s mother said the girl has been having nightmares since disclosing the allegations.

Engroff’s attorney, Matthew Bowe, said it is not possible for allegations tied to a Christmas 2020 family gathering to have taken place because the celebration took place over Zoom that year due to social distancing required by COVID-19.

He said that showed the girl was telling a false story.


He said police failed to investigate the allegations, instead relying on what the girl said in the Children’s Advocacy Center interview and taking it as fact, without following up or questioning how the allegations could have taken place in 2020 when, he said, there had been no testimony at trial that Engroff and the girl were ever alone in that time period.

Bowe said Engroff, in 2020, was living in West Gardiner, where the girl visited the home of him and his then-wife, but that he worked 50 to 60 hours a week in his job with the Maine Army National Guard and was never alone with her as the girl had described.

Flaherty countered that prosecutors didn’t have to prove the alleged crimes occurred on a specific date, just that they occurred in the time period indicated by testimony and evidence in the trial. She said just because the girl didn’t remember the dates when the incidents are alleged to have occurred, doesn’t mean they didn’t happen to her. She said she had nothing to gain by making up the allegations, which were difficult for her to talk about.

Flaherty said the girl “remembers these incidents because they were important to her. She remembers how they made her feel”

Engroff was arrested after he turned himself in to Detective Brittany Johnson of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office in March 2022, after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

None of the incidents are alleged to have occurred while Engroff was on duty or working for the Maine Army National Guard as a staff sergeant.


He is no longer a full-time active Guard and Reserve soldier. He remains a “drill status soldier,” attached to Joint Force Headquarters in Augusta, Maj. Carl Lamb, public affairs officer for the Maine National Guard, said Wednesday, before the verdict in the case was reached.

Lamb said Guard commanders would consider final options on Engroff’s military status following completion of the trial. He said the Maine National Guard takes matters of alleged misconduct extremely seriously, regardless of whether alleged incidents occur on or off duty.

“It is a privilege to wear our nation’s uniform and members are expected to live the Army and Air Force values at all times,” Lamb said in an email. “Our conduct must be above reproach — the communities we serve demand nothing less.”

He added it is not uncommon for military authorities to wait until civilian proceedings are complete prior to closing out administrative actions, to avoid interfering with criminal proceedings.

Engroff was initially indicted by a grand jury, in March 2022, on six counts, three counts each of the class B felony crime of unlawful sexual contact and the class D misdemeanor crime of unlawful sexual touching.

One of those counts of unlawful sexual touching was dismissed by prosecutors before the start of Engroff’s jury trial Monday.

His sentencing will take place at a later date. Meanwhile, Engroff remains out on bail.

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