Sex crime victim’s parents report alleged perpetrator to police

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff
Posted Jan. 13, 2012, at 5:55 a.m.

BATH, Maine — The monitoring of a 14-year-old girl’s Internet activity by her parents has led to charges of sexual abuse of a minor and criminal restraint, according to the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department.

Chief Deputy Brett Strout said Andrew T. Mank, 21, of Bath is cooperating with police and has admitted to having a sexual relationship with the girl between March and November of last year. In addition to 15 counts of Class D sexual abuse of a minor, Mank is charged with one count of Class D criminal restraint, which Strout said stems from an incident last November in West Bath in which the girl, who is from Topsham, tried to leave and Mank forced her to stay.

“The victim wanted to leave the location they were at,” said Strout. “He dragged her back into the residence.”

Mank established and maintained his relationship with the girl over the Internet, according to a Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department press release. Strout said the crimes were reported by the girl’s parents after they discovered her online activity. Strout said other people may be charged in connection with the case but would not discuss how they are connected or what they might be charged with.

All of the charges against Mank are misdemeanors and he has not been arrested. Strout said Mank is not accused of forcing sex on the girl.

In the course of his investigation, Sagadahoc County Detective Sgt. John Burne uncovered other sex crimes possibly committed by Mank involving girls in Cumberland County who are minors, said Strout. That information was given to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department.

Cumberland County Detective Sgt. Jim Estabrook said Friday that his department’s investigation is just beginning, but that Mank is suspected of committing sex crimes with at least two underage girls in Cumberland County.

“He has not been charged with anything at this point in our county,” said Estabrook. “It is likely he will be in the very near future.”

Mank faces a March 13 court date for the charges in Sagadahoc County.

Strout asked that anyone with information about this case call Burne at 386-5827.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/13/news/police-beat/bath-man-faces-multiple-sex-abuse-counts-allegedly-used-social-networking-sites-to-meet-underage-girls/ printed on November 23, 2014