Investigators: Former Maine State Police Chief Charged With Child Sex Abuse Is Cooperating - NECN

Investigators: Former Maine State Police Chief Charged With Child Sex Abuse Is Cooperating



    Investigators: Former Maine State Police chief charged with child sex abuse is cooperating

    Police say 73-year-old Andrew Demers confessed to abusing 4-year-old girl over period of months (Published Tuesday, April 1, 2014)

    (NECN: Amy Sinclair) - Former Maine State Police Chief Andrew Demers, 73, of New Gloucester, is now awaiting his first court appearance.

    Demers was charged with unlawful sexual contact Monday after confessing that he abused a 4-year-old girl over a period of months.

    Many people are now asking what may have motivated Demers and wondering if he had other victims.

    Like most child sex abusers, police say Demers knew his victim. And like other high profile offenders, including convicted serial molester Jerry Sandusky, Demers was a respected leader in the community.

    "It's really important to talk about these cases," said Cara Courchesne, the communications director for the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault. "You're not going to see a monster when you see a sex offender. You're going to see a regular human being."

    In fact, Demers was a highly-decorated officer who spent 26 years with the Maine State Police, his last six as chief before retiring in 1992.

    While police would not discuss Demer's motive, Courchesne says there is a typical profile.

    "Child sexual abuse, and generally sexual violence, is not a crime of passion, it's not a crime about sex, it's about power and control," she said. "Children are easy targets."

    And these crimes against children may be more common than people realize.

    Roughly one in five girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused before they reach adulthood, according to MeCASA.

    Consistent numbers on the perpetrators are harder to come by.

    While some child abusers become serial offenders, others take just one victim.

    Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce says the office believes Demers crimes were limited to the 4-year-old.

    "I will never say never, that there won't be other victims out there, but there's no indication at this point," said Joyce.

    Joyce says Demers was cooperative, offering a full confession.

    Nonetheless, he says his door remains open.

    "If anybody thinks they have been a victim, there's no indication, but obviously, we would like to know about that so we can either rule it out or look into it further," said Joyce.

    While he admits it's disappointing that the suspect is a former colleague, he says that fact would not hamper the investigation.

    Cara Courchesne says it's up to everyone to look out for the most vulnerable.

    "If you suspect something, you should say something," she said.

    She says a child may be counting on it.

    The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office can be reached 24 hours a day at 207-893-2810.

    The statewide, toll-free sexual assault crisis and support phone number is 1-800-871-7741.