A convicted sex offender and a sexual assault suspect have disappeared in northern Franklin or Oxford counties and authorities, who have issued warrants for their arrest, have been searching for them since Thursday, the Sun Journal reported.
Shawn Batchelder, 36, and Stephen Peterson are believed to be in the Height of the Land area in heavy woods near Rangeley or Byron. A convicted sex offender still serving probation, Batchelder was last seen Sept. 12 in Augusta while Petersen is currently on bail for a charge in York County of gross sexual assault, the Sun Journal reported.
The Maine Department of Corrections doesn’t typically notify the public when an individual fails probation, but the department considers Batchelder a danger to himself and potentially others and corrections has limited knowledge of Peterson, the Sun Journal reported.
Batchelder was sentenced to 25 years with all but 10 years suspended in May 2012. The sentence includes four years probation following his release from prison for gross sexual assault, a Class A crime, which carries a maximum 30-year sentence and up to a $50,000 fine. Originally from Portland, Batchelder is described as white, 5-feet-9-inches tall, 250 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes, the Sun Journal reported.
Corrections officers and Franklin County sheriff’s deputies are searching for both men. The public should not approach or speak with either individual, the Sun Journal reported.