BANGOR, Maine — A man from England accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl from Levant he met online is facing multiple charges.
Nicholas Cheese, 26, of Oxford, England, is charged with one count each of gross sexual assault, a Class A felony, and sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class B felony, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday.
District Court Judge Gregory Campbell set Cheese’s bail at $100,000 cash at the accused man’s initial court appearance Monday. Conditions include that he have no contact with the victim and her immediate family, and that he surrender his passport.
The Englishman told the judge through Bangor attorney Benjamin Fowler, who acted Monday as lawyer-of-the-day, that he could not afford such a high bail. Cheese also said that when he was arrested about 7 p.m. Sunday at a local motel, his passport was left behind.
Cheese was not asked to enter pleas to the charges Monday because he has not yet been indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury. The grand jury next meets July 24 at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Campbell appointed attorney Don Brown of Brewer to represent Cheese.
Tracy Lacher, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, said after Cheese appeared in court that Cheese left the United Kingdom on Sunday, June 23, for New York City. He arrived in Bangor and checked into the motel on Tuesday, June 25, the prosecutor said.
Cheese and the girl had “multiple sexual encounters” between Thursday and Saturday, Lacher said.
Bangor police Det. Brent Beaulieu was contacted by Det. Andrew Whitehouse of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday regarding a sexual assault that was under investigation, Edwards said.
Whitehouse informed Beaulieu that he had received a complaint from the father of the 13-year-old girl that Cheese had flown to Bangor to meet his daughter, the sergeant said.
Cheese and the girl had met online about a year ago, police were told.
After interviewing Cheese, the detectives arrested him and brought him to Penobscot County Jail, the sergeant said.
Cheese remained at the jail Monday, unable to make bail.
He is next scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 5.
If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison on the gross sexual assault charge and up to 10 years in prison on the sexual exploitation of a minor charge. He also faces fines of up to $50,000 and $20,000 on each charge, respectively.
BDN reporter Judy Harrison contributed to this report.
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.