DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A Holden man was sentenced Tuesday at the Piscataquis County Judicial Center to 10 years in prison in connection with sexual assaults on two girls, then ages 9 and 11, while visiting family friends two years ago in Milo, according to the district attorney’s office.
In addition to prison time, Benjamin D. Steeves, 30, was sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release, a stringent form of probation imposed only on sex offenders. He also will have to register as a sex offender for life.
Steeves pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of gross sexual assault, two counts of unlawful sexual contact, one a Class A, the other a Class C crime, and one count of unlawful sexual touching, as well as five counts of assault, all Class D crimes.
He entered what is known as an Alford plea to each charge, according to Piscataquis County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy. Steeves did not admit to committing the crimes as outlined in the indictments but agreed that the state had enough evidence to convict him.
Steeves began serving his sentence immediately, Almy said.
“This is a significant sentence and will protect the community for a while,” he said.
Almy said in June when Steeves was indicted by the grand jury that the girls reported the incidents to their mother a few days after the assaults in November 2014. She took her daughters to a hospital, where staff are required by law to report child abuse to police.
Steeves, who is not related to the girls, was charged in February after the results of tests on forensic evidence submitted to the Maine State Police Laboratory were given to the district attorney’s office.
Before Tuesday’s, hearing, Steeves had been free on $10,000 unsecured bail.
To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.