Sex offender to serve five months for quitting counseling, not telling probation officer he moved from Chelsea residence

Posted March 24, 2014, at 4:37 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A convicted sex offender will spend five months in jail after he admitted to violating his probation.

Jason S. Simpson, 46, was sentenced Monday in Knox County Superior Court to five months for a trio of probation violations. He has been held at the Knox County Jail for the past two months, so he will remain behind bars for three more months.

Simpson was convicted in April 2007 in Knox County Superior Court in Rockland of eight counts of gross sexual assault. He was sentenced by Justice Kirk Studstrup to 20 years in prison with all but five years suspended. He also was placed on probation for six years upon his release. The district attorney’s office had requested 30 years with all but 15 years suspended.

Simpson admitted Monday that he failed to notify his probation officer about a change of address, failed to maintain contact with that officer and failed to continue with his sex offender counseling.

Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody said Simpson’s counseling ended when he failed to appear for a polygraph examination.

Defense attorney Jeremy Pratt argued that Simpson had the right under the Fifth Amendment to not answer questions asked during a polygraph test that could incriminate him.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm questioned whether this would become an issue again when Simpson goes back to counseling. Pratt said he would likely counsel his client before any test and try to iron out any disagreements over questions.

Court documents show that Simpson, a former Rockland resident, was last known by his probation officer to be living in a woodshop at River Rock Church in Chelsea. He had been told by church officials, however, that the woodshop was not equipped for someone to live there, and he moved without notifying his probation officer. He then also failed to meet with the officer after deciding he was not going to take the polygraph test.

Simpson had originally been charged with 30 counts of gross sexual assault involving a 5-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl. The offenses occurred in 2004 and 2005 in Rockland and Thomaston.

Sheriff Donna Dennison, then a detective with the department, was the chief investigator in the case.

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