Convicted child sex offender from Rockport arrested on new sexual assault charge

Posted March 22, 2013, at 12:50 p.m.
Last modified March 22, 2013, at 6:49 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 54-year-old Rockport man who was convicted more than 20 years ago of sexually assaulting two young children at his mother’s day care center was arrested this week and charged with sexually assaulting another youngster.

Arthur Ronald Dodge was arrested Thursday afternoon by Maine State Police on charges of gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact.

Dodge made his initial appearance Friday afternoon in Rockland District Court, where Judge Susan Sparaco increased his bail to $50,000 cash and continued the case to April 24. The bail commissioner had initially set bail at $25,000 cash.

He remained at the Knox County Jail late Friday.

Attorney William Pagnano, who represented defendants in custody on Friday, had asked for surety bail, arguing that Dodge was a lifelong resident of the area and owned his home.

The complaint filed with the court said the new alleged offense occurred Nov. 1, 2011, in Rockport.

An affidavit filed by Bryant Jacques of the Maine State Police stated that the child, who was younger than 12 years old, reported the incident to her parents who then notified police.

Police interviewed Dodge after the complaint was received in March 2012 and he denied any wrongdoing. State police got a search warrant and found a pair of the child’s underwear in the house and DNA tests that were completed during the summer of 2012 found evidence of his sperm on the child’s underwear, according to the affidavit.

Dodge was interviewed on March 12, 2013, but he refused to talk, saying he had hired an attorney who told him to keep his mouth shut, the state police affidavit stated.

Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody said he does not know why there was the several months gap between the DNA test results and the arrest warrant being sought.

Court records show Dodge was sentenced in 1990 to five years in jail with all but two years suspended for unlawful sexual contact in 1989 involving two young children. He also was placed on probation for four years with the condition that he not have any unsupervised contact with children under 16 years old.

At the time, Justice Margaret Kravchuk called Dodge a danger to the community, particularly to young children.

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.

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