May 26, 2018
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Man guilty of assaults on children

By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A Union man pleaded guilty last week to sexually assaulting his two young daughters.

The charges against Richard Leppanen, 34, included 10 counts of unlawful sexual contact, two counts of unlawful sexual touching and two counts of gross sexual assault on his daughters, who were 5 and 10 years old at the time, for incidents taking place for about a year during 2008.

According to police reports filed at the Knox County Superior Court, Leppanen said he began to grow restless after his youngest daughter was born.

“Richard stated that he became sexually frustrated,” Detective Justin Twitchell from the Knox County Sheriff’s Department wrote in his report. “He began to see his first-born daughter turning into a very young lady who was growing breasts. Richard said that this was confusing him.”

A few years later, Leppanen abused his 10-year-old daughter. The girl, who is the middle child of Leppanen’s three daughters, refused him after several incidents and Leppanen stopped.

A few months later, according to police reports, he began abusing his 5-year-old daughter, the youngest of the three.

“Richard stated that was still not getting ‘love’ and [his youngest child] was there,” Twitchell’s report states.

The young girl told Twitchell that she asked her father to stop on many occasions, and that he would abuse her every week. She told Twitchell that her dad was “not being polite.”

“He felt more comfortable doing this with [the youngest child] because she was much younger and he felt as though she would not get him in trouble,” Twitchell’s report states.

The abuse ended when the 5-year-old’s mother was lying in bed one day next to the man and realized what was happening in her own bed with her husband and their daughter.

The girl’s mother took the three children and moved to southern Maine to get away from Leppanen.

Leppanen told police he was abused and raped as a child by an older male neighbor.

“He tucked all of these bad memories away and ‘buried’ them. He stated that they never came out until recently,” the police report states.

No date has been set for sentencing. The court has ordered a forensic evaluation regarding risk assessment, which must be completed before the sentencing, according to Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Jones.

Leppanen is being held at Knox County Jail with bail set at $10,000 cash.

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