Credit: Dreamstime | TNS

A Waldo County jury this week convicted a Montville 76-year-old of propositioning a boy in Belfast City Park.

Edmund Melanson is scheduled to be sentenced July 26 for the Class D crime of solicitation of a child to commit a prohibited act. He could face a penalty of less than a year in jail and a fine of as much as $2,000.

The one-day jury trial took place Wednesday.

According to arrest warrant affidavit for Melanson, the incident that led to his arrest took place March 28, 2018. At that time, Melanson approached some boys, who were planning to play basketball in the park, and asked them if he could watch. While they were walking to the basketball court, the man propositioned one of the boys, who was 12. The boy later told an investigating police officer that he was scared and just wanted to get away from the man.

The boys went to another man in the park to ask for help, and he told them that he would distract the first man so that they could go home. He also called the police.

Meanwhile, the first man left the park. Investigating police officers worked for some time to identify him, even asking the public for their help.

Eventually, Melanson surfaced as a suspect, and the officer who first interviewed him said that he denied that he was involved but that he seemed to know more information about what had happened in the park than had been shared with the media and the public. The boys and two witnesses also identified Melanson from his photo in a lineup of other men with similar characteristics, the police wrote in the arrest warrant affidavit. He was arrested and charged in July 2018.

If you or someone you know needs resources or support related to sexual violence, contact the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s 24/7 hotline at 800-871-7741.