Judge rejects plea deal for man facing sex crime charges

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A judge decides to reject the plea deal of an Orono man facing 135 counts of sex crimes against kids, calling the acts "monstrous." Wyatt Higgins-Tripp was expecting to be sentenced Thursday afternoon after reaching a plea deal with the state, but Justice William Anderson did not feel it was sufficient enough for the crime committed.

Under the plea deal, Tripp would plea guilty to 15 of the charges and serve 10 years in prison. The District Attorney's office would then drop the 120 remaining charges.

Justice William Anderson did not think that was appropriate for the crimes committed, telling the court Tripp did not show any remorse for his actions only that he had been caught.

Justice Anderson stating, "In many ways I think the acts speak for themselves in judging the seriousness of the offense. What he did was quite monstrous to several children."

The judge going on to say the 10 year sentence does not guarantee the safety of children in the future.

Tripp is accused of sexually assaulting six boys between the ages of 12 and 17. Prosecutors have been working on the case since June 2013. During the investigation, multiple victims came forward, which allowed prosecutors to file additional charges.

Assistant District Attorney Alice Clifford explaining, "The number of victims, the time period over which the crime occurred...there is really, you don't see cases of this magnitude."

Tripp's guilty pleas are retracted automatically since the judge rejected the plea deal. His defense attorney said they are "back to square one."

Tripp remains at Penobscot County jail being held on $20,000 bail.


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