Orono man facing 135 child sex assault charges

6:40 PM, Feb 27, 2014   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- An Orono man is facing 135 charges of sex crimes against children. Wyatt Tripp is accused of sexually assaulting six boys between the ages of twelve and seventeen. Police said his first victim was a relative. 

A grand jury first indicted Tripp in June of last year and since then prosecutors said they have been working to build a strong case against him. But as with many child abuse cases, the most important thing for investigators is getting people accused off the street.

"We knew early on in the investigation that there were multiple victims here, but we had confirmation and a good case  concerning the first victim and we didn't want to leave Mr. Tripp out in the community. given what was happening. So we went forward on those charges." said Deputy District Attorney Mike Roberts with Penobscot County.

During the investigation, five other alleged victims came forward, which allowied prosecutors to file additional charges.

On Wednesday, Tripp was indicted on six counts of gross sexual assault, 25 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, and ten counts of unlawful sexual contact. 

"It took longer for the police to find additional victims, conduct interviews, we are talking primarily about teenage boys some of whom were very very reluctant to talk about these events. they are perhaps the most difficult child abuse victims we have to deal with," said Roberts.

The case is currently waiting on a motion by the defense to suppress Tripp's testimony to police. The Penobscot County Jail is holding Tripp, who is unable to make bail. 

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