UPDATE as of 11:25 a.m. Monday Nov. 20: Lincoln County Deputy Kenneth Hatch was found not guilty on a sexual assault charge and giving marijuana to a minor charge. Hung jury for all other charges of which there are 20.
AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The guilt or innocence of a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy is in the hands of a Jury.
Kenneth Hatch, a well respected law enforcement officer who was once honored as Deputy of the Year, is facing 22 charges involving the sexual abuse of girls and supplying one of them with marijuana.
Hatch has a career in law enforcement that has spanned 17 years. He’s accused of sexually abusing three women when they were girls and teenagers. The alleged abuse happened over a period of 15-years.
In closing arguments Hatch’s attorney told jurors this case is the definition of reasonable doubt. Attorney Richard Elliott said there are so many inconsistencies in statements made by the women. He told jurors it’s one thing to be wrongly accused, but another thing to be wrongly convicted.
The prosecutor told jurors the things the women say happened to them are too similar to be made up. John Risler said the women came forward, were interviewed multiple times, testified before a grand jury and here at trial. They had their personal and sexual lives exposed. He said they would not have done that just to try to get back at Hatch.
Jurors deliberated for about four and a half hours on Friday before being sent home for the weekend.
Hatch is on administrative leave without pay from the department pending the results of an internal investigation and the outcome of this trial.