BRUNSWICK, Maine — A 41-year-old Brunswick man was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to six counts of gross sexual assault against a child younger than 13 years old.
Lester H. Ambrose Jr. must serve 18 years of the 30-year sentence, which will be followed by 12 years of supervised probation. Following his release, Ambrose must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Brunswick police arrested Ambrose on Sept. 7, 2011, and charged him with the Class A felonies, which took place between October 2006 and December 2010. He was indicted in December 2011 for those crimes, as well as for the lesser Class C crime of possession of sexually explicit material of a minor younger than 12, which took place in Sept. 2011, according to documents obtained from Portland Superior Court.
At his arraignment, Ambrose pleaded not guilty to the charges, but on March 21 he changed his plea to guilty.
Assistant District Attorney Matt Tice, who prosecuted the case for the Cumberland County District Attorney’s office, today called the sentence “very significant” and “satisfying.”
“It was a very serious, ongoing crime, with contact over a period of five to six years, in conjunction with child pornography, in conjunction with the fact that we had a very strong case,” he said.
Brunswick Police Detective Rich Cutliffe, who investigated the case, was also present at today’s sentencing. He said Ambrose arrived in shackles and handcuffs, and apologized to the victim’s mother and father, who also spoke before Judge Roland Cole.
Tice read a victim impact statement written by the child.
Cutliffe praised the victim’s family for “a tremendous job” providing information for the case.
“The victim is one of the most incredible people I have ever met, very strong and very well-adjusted,” Cutliffe said. “I believe the victim will move forward and will be OK. I’m happy to see the family has closure and will be able to look forward to life.”
Ambrose’s attorney, Clifford Strike of Portland firm Strike, Goodwin & O’Brien, said today that the sentencing “was a decision that was left up to the judge and the judge approved a sentence he thought was appropriate.”
Ambrose was immediately returned to custody following sentencing. When he is released from prison, conditions of his release will include no contact with the victim or victim’s family, no contact with any child younger than 18, and Ambrose may not own a computer nor access the Internet, according to Tice.
“It’s a sentence that’s satisfying because we often don’t get sentences … that we think reflect the gravity of what the guy did,” he said.
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