FARMINGTON, Maine — A Franklin County court justice sentenced a Weld man Friday to one year of a five-year prison sentence for sex crimes against a girl under age 18.
James Lundy, 47, pleaded guilty in March to one count each of felony unlawful sexual contact and misdemeanor unlawful sexual touching. He also pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor counts of allowing minors to possess or drink alcohol.
Franklin County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy sentenced Lundy to six months on each of the misdemeanor charges to run concurrent with the unlawful sexual contact sentence, and to pay a $1,000 fine. He must register as a sex offender for 10 years with the state.
Lundy was indicted last year on three felony charges of unlawful sexual contact, three misdemeanor charges of unlawful sexual contact and four counts of misdemeanor furnishing liquor to minors.
According to the indictment, the inappropriate touching occurred between Feb. 23, 2009, and Nov. 30, 2011. Lundy was arrested after an investigation by Franklin County Sheriff Detective David St. Laurent in March 2012.
Murphy told the court she reviewed a DVD recording of an interview of the victim by a Child Advocacy Center representative and letters sent in support of Lundy.
The state agreed to a plea deal because there was risk of getting no conviction on the case if it went to trial, Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said. While the state believes the sexual contact was for sexual gratification and grooming behavior on Lundy’s part, it has to be able to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt to the jury, he said.
“This plea requires Mr. Lundy to accept responsibility,” Andrews said.
He has to comply with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, serve prison time, and undergo sexual abuse counseling, he said.
The plea also avoids the trauma of the girl testifying at a trial, he said.
Two representatives from Sexual Assault Victims Emergency Services read statements from the girl and her mother.
The mother’s statement said the court system failed her daughter. She asked for Lundy to get the maximum five years in prison.
Defense attorney Christopher Dilworth said Lundy has expressed remorse and taken responsibility for his actions.
Lundy served in the Army, has had successful employment, has been in counseling and followed all bail conditions, he said. The conduct occurred while Lundy was drinking, Dilworth said.
He asked that Lundy be sentenced to six months in a county jail on the felony charge and 30 days each on the misdemeanors.
In announcing the sentence, Justice Murphy acknowledged prosecuting the case presented problems for the state and the defense and that she was “very reluctant to accept this agreement.”
“This is a very complicated and unsatisfactory result,” she said. “I have pushed the attorneys hard to try and come up with something to reflect the conduct that occurred and factor in the risks they both face. I don’t think the victim’s family understands that if they go to trial they risk not getting a conviction on the charges at all.”