ELLSWORTH, Maine — A 53-year-old Deer Isle man was found guilty Wednesday of a slew of sex crimes committed against a young girl over the course of four years, beginning when the girl was just 4 years old.
Larry Bunt was found guilty by a jury in Hancock County Superior Court of five counts of gross sexual assault and three counts of unlawful sexual contact. Bunt was denied post-conviction bail and will be sentenced Friday morning.
Bunt was arrested on Dec. 5 after the victim, now a teenager, told a detective that Bunt had sexually assaulted her “about every other week” while she was between 4 and 8 years old. Bunt ultimately was charged with assaults that took place in Sedgwick and Deer Isle between May 2000 and December 2003.
The victim said Bunt touched her and forced her to touch him, according to an affidavit.
After speaking with police on Dec. 4, the victim called Bunt “to tell him that she was having problems dealing with what he did to her,” the affidavit says. According to police, Bunt acknowledged the assault and said he didn’t know why he did it.
“[Bunt] told her that if she [sought counseling], he would end up in jail. He then told her to do what she needed to do,” the affidavit states.
Detective Jay Pelletier interviewed Bunt on Dec. 5. According to the affidavit, Bunt confessed that he touched the victim three times, but said he did not recall making her touch him. He said that if the assaults happened more than three times, he didn’t recall, the affidavit says.
At the time of his arrest, Bunt was a bus driver in the Deer Isle area, but the victim was known to him personally, outside of his role bringing children to and from school.
The young age of the victim at the time of the molestation elevates the crime of gross sexual assault to Class A. Bunt faces up to 30 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
To report a sexual assault, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741. This is a confidential, 24-hour toll-free line accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closes sexual assault support center.
Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.