Saturday, March 8, 2014
By Betty Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUSTA -- A city man pleaded no contest Monday to an assault charge in which a 4-year-old girl was left with a swollen, blackened eye and marks on her neck, according to police.
Brent Ryan Lavallee, 28, also pleaded no contest to violating conditions of release.
A judge in Kennebec County Superior Court sentenced him to six months in jail on both charges.
Assistant District Attorney James Mitchell Jr. said Monday that Lavallee admitted to throwing the girl into a bunk bed, where she hit her head.
"It was a reckless act; that's why the judge agreed to the recommended sentence," Mitchell said, adding that there was some question also about whether the 4-year-old would qualify to testify as a witness.
He said the girl has fully recovered and the Department of Health and Human Services has finished its investigation as well.
A police affidavit gives a different version of events, describing additional attacks on the girl.
Lavallee, who was represented in court by attorney Charles T. Ferris, was accused of striking the girl in their home Thursday, Aug. 30, and of holding a blanket to her neck so tightly that it left marks, according to a court affidavit by Augusta Police Detective Tori Tracy.
Augusta police said the girl's grandfather noticed the injuries and notified them.
The girl's mother told police she had left the children in Lavallee's care from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, and found the girl inside the apartment crying when she returned. Two other children were outside playing, she told police.
The mother told police she believed something had occurred involving Lavallee, and she asked him to leave, which he did. The mother told police Lavallee returned at 3 a.m. Friday, Aug. 31, but she refused to let him into the apartment.
Tracy's affidavit said the child told police that Lavallee dragged her up the stairs, hit her with his fist and threatened to kill her if she didn't go to sleep. The girl also said Lavallee held a blanket to the front of her neck because she was crying, according to the affidavit.
The mother took the girl for an evaluation at the emergency room at MaineGeneral Medical Center after police talked to her, according to Tracy.
Records show Lavallee was on probation at the time after being convicted Jan. 3 of felony operating under the influence among other crimes. He was sentenced to six months in jail on the probation violation charge, and will serve that sentence at the same time as the other term.
He is banned from contact with the victim unless the mother of the girl gives her consent in writing.
Betty Adams -- 621-5631