Friday, April 18, 2014
By Kaitlin Schroeder firstname.lastname@example.org
FARMINGTON — A Chesterville man accused of sexually assaulting a minor remained in jail after his bail was increased during his initial court appearance Wednesday.
Jason Bergeron, 36, was arrested by the Franklin County Sheriff's Department Tuesday and charged with three counts of gross sexual assault against a 14-year-old girl.
According to a police report, the assaults occurred during the last three years in Bergeron's home.
Detectives learned of the alleged assaults after they were reported by the parents of a friend of the girl.
The 14-year-old girl told a detective she was forced to commit a sex act with Bergeron once each year during the last three, according to court documents.
His bail was raised from $10,000 cash to $50,000 cash or $200,000 property.
Christopher Berryment, who served as Bergeron's attorney for the day until one could be appointed by the court, said “kids these days” know from watching television that they can make this kind of false allegation as a way to get revenge against an adult they have a problem with.
“Anyone could be subject to this allegation,” Berryment said.
Assistant District Attorney Joshua Robbins said during the hearing that he recommended the high bail because Bergeron has already shown by the assaults that he is willing to coerce and intimidate the 14-year-old girl, and if released he could place her in danger or tamper with her testimony.
“The argument counsel has made is offensive. She needs to be protected by the court,” he said.
Robbins also said that Bergeron has a handful of prior convictions dating back to 1996, including four counts of theft, four counts of burglary, operating under the influence and two counts of violating a condition of release.
Bergeron spoke at the hearing only to request a court-appointed attorney. Judge Susan Oram said Bergeron's conditions of bail also include no contact with the girl, no use or possession of alcohol or drugs, and that he be subject to random search.
His next court appearance is Sept. 14.
Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252