Child Sex Abuse Trial Begins for Former ‘Deputy of the Year’

A onetime "Deputy of the Year" at a Maine sheriff's department is on trial on charges that he sexually abused three girls.

Opening statements in the trial of Lincoln County sheriff's deputy Kenneth Hatch III were scheduled for Monday.

Prosecutors say Hatch abused the girls on numerous occasions from 1999 to 2014. Court documents say the abuse of one girl started when she was 6 years old. The others were 14 or 15.

He is also accused of providing at least one of the girls with marijuana in exchange for sex.

Hatch has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The case is being tried in Kennebec County at the request of the prosecution because Hatch is a deputy in Lincoln County.

He has been placed on unpaid leave.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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