ROCKLAND, Maine — A 54-year-old Rockport man accused of sexually assaulting a child last fall pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon.
Bail also was amended to allow Arthur R. Dodge to be released from jail.
Dodge was arrested last month and charged with gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact. A Knox County grand jury indicted him this week on those same charges.
Bail initially was set last month at $50,000 cash.
His attorney, Christopher MacLean of Camden, argued in court papers that Dodge could not raise that amount of money but could put up $100,000 worth of property. The defense attorney stated that Dodge was a lifelong local resident and has never failed to show up to court.
Bail was amended to be $100,000 surety.
Dodge has been at the Knox County Jail since he was arrested March 21. He was released shortly after Friday afternoon’s hearing.
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 who were at his mother’s day care center. 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.