Rockland man gets 10 years for sexually assaulting 3-year-old

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted March 04, 2013, at 7:22 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 32-year-old Rockland man will be spending 10 years in prison after he admitted Monday to sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl.

Ryan S. Withee will be put on supervised release for 25 years after getting out of prison.

Withee pleaded guilty in Knox County Superior Court to gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact.

Justice Joyce Wheeler accepted the sentence agreed to between District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau and defense attorney Aaron Fethke.

The two investigating officers in the case — Detective Sgt. Chris Young and Officer William Smith — were in the courtroom for the sentencing.

Withee did not speak other than to acknowledge that he receives disability payments because he is a slow learner.

According to the prosecutor, the girl told relatives and later Young that Withee had hurt her in her private parts.

Officer Smith interviewed Withee and the suspect eventually confessed to having had committed the act with the child. Withee was arrested, taken to the Knox County Jail and has been held there for the past nine months.

His DNA was found on the girl’s clothing, according to Rushlau.

Wheeler said she accepted the 10-year sentence partly because Withee accepted responsibility immediately and did not make the child testify in court.

Rushlau said Withee has a few theft and criminal mischief convictions on his record.

Withee was charged in 2005 for gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact against a girl younger than 12. He was acquitted during a trial in 2005.

Rushlau said the last he heard from the victim’s family was that the child has been cheerful and outgoing after the crime.

“On the surface, she seems to have been able to move on more successfully than an older child would have,” the prosecutor said.

To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/03/04/news/midcoast/rockland-man-gets-10-years-for-sexually-assaulting-3-year-old/ printed on September 19, 2014