Maine man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting 4-year-old girl


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AUGUSTA, Maine — A Sidney man charged with sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl he was baby-sitting has pleaded guilty.

Eric Bard's trial came to an abrupt close Wednesday with his guilty plea to 21 charges including rape and sexual exploitation in connection with alleged assaults in 2011 and 2012 that prosecutors say he recorded with a cellphone.

Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said there was no plea agreement when it comes to the sentence. But the guilty plea can be withdrawn if defense lawyer Ronald Bourget wins an appeal of several pre-trial rulings.

Bourget told the jury on Tuesday that his client "suffers from pervasive developmental disorder" and has a lower intelligence which made it impossible for him to understand his actions were wrong.

Information from: Kennebec Journal,

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