BELFAST, Maine — A Waterville man who was convicted of sexually abusing a child nearly a decade ago will go back to prison after violating his conditions of probation.

Joshua Petterson, 37, was sentenced to 10 years in prison with all but 42 months suspended in January 2007 in Waldo County Court. He also was mandated to spend six years on probation after being convicted of one count of gross sexual assault against a Waldo County girl who had not yet turned 12.

According to the Maine Department of Corrections, Petterson, who has been on probation, was found in the company of a 2-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl on March 6 at a Benton residence. Petterson is prohibited from having unauthorized contact with females under the age of 16, according to a motion to revoke his probation that was filed at Waldo County Superior Court. The motion also stated he has failed to satisfactorily participate in sex offender counseling and, in fact, was suspended from sex offender counseling for having unauthorized contact with minors.

Court documents indicate a Kennebec County deputy sheriff had gone to the Benton mobile home to check on the well-being of the 2-year-old child. There, he found Petterson sleeping in one bedroom of the trailer and two girls under age 16, including the toddler. It took the deputy several attempts to wake up Petterson, who finally did rouse and said the girls had come into the trailer when he was sleeping. However, Petterson’s probation officer ordered a probation hold on him, and he was taken into police custody.

On April 28, Waldo County Superior Court Justice Robert Murray ordered Petterson serve 21 months of the suspended portion of his original sentence, with credit for the time he had served since March 6.