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Greene found man not guilty of 15 counts of sexual abuse

Roger Hamel Jr. sits Monday in Androscoggin County Superior Court in Auburn. The Greene resident is on trial on 15 sex abuse charges. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

AUBURN (Sun Journal) -- A jury in Androscoggin County found a Greene man not guilty of 15 counts of sexual abuse, according to the Sun Journal.

In less than two hours, the jury decided to acquit 46-year-old Roger Hamel Jr. of all charges, apparently believing his testimony over that of a 9-year-old girl who claimed he sexually abused her in 2016 and 2017.

Hamel rejected a plea deal of 15 years in prison with five suspended before the trial began this week.

The girl was the prosecutors’ first witness. She said Hamel had touched her private parts, exposed her to adult pornography, masturbated in front of her and showered with her, according to the Sun Journal.

Hamel took the witness stand Tuesday, rebutting the girl’s statements and explaining inadvertent incidents where he had touched her accidentally or she had touched him, according to the Sun Journal. He denied he ever engaged in sexual abuse.

Hamel’s attorney, George Hess, told the jury his client had been the target of a vengeful ex-girlfriend who had accused him of infidelity and was angry because he had taken possession of a car she had purchased.

Hess said the girl’s mother had likely coached the girl into believing Hamel had abused her. The girl hadn’t revealed the abuse until months after the couple had split.

She told the jury she had been “nervous” about telling of the abuse. Hess said it had taken that long for the mother to prime her daughter.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Dumas told the jury during closing arguments that Hamel’s actions involving the girl had been “calculated, deliberate and opportunistic.”

He asked the jury to consider whether Hess’ explanation made sense.

When summing up his case to the jury, Hess stressed the importance of using reasonable doubt — the highest legal bar for conviction — as a benchmark during their deliberations.

He said a child “can be easily swayed by a parent.”

“He referred to the girl’s mother as a “woman scorned” who had been “teased” by Hamel’s withholding the title to her car.

He pointed to inconsistencies between the testimony of mother and daughter.

The Sun Journal reports he has been held on $10,000 bail since November 2017. He is now a free man.

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