Central Maine Man Who Sexually Assaulted 4-Year-Old Has Prison Sentence Cut in Half
It's a move that has many in Maine fuming over the news. A Maine man, formerly of the town of Sidney, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and recording it on his cell phone at the time. That conviction of the crimes that took place in 2011 and 2012, led to 34-year Eric Bard being sentenced to 50 years in prison. That sentence was handed down in 2015.
According to WGME 13, the conviction was recently appealed and ended up being overturned. The news station reports that the court found Bard was 'deprived of due process'.
Typically, these types of findings can result in a whole new trial, however, WGME and the Kennebec Journal are both reporting that prosecutors and Bard agreed to a plea deal in exchange for Bard's sentence being reduced to 28 years instead of the original 50.
Many might be wondering why officials would opt to forgo a new trial and arrange a plea deal instead. According to WGME 13, part of the reason for this move was to spare the victim the trauma of having to come in and testify at a new trial, thus having to relive the horrible acts that occurred years ago.
WGME goes on to report that following Bard's eventual release from prison, he will be a lifetime registrant on the sex offender registry and be permanently supervised for life. Additionally, upon his release, Bard may not even be in possession of any devices that have internet capability, have no contact with any minors and lastly have no contact with the original victim.
For more information on Bard, and all other registered sex offenders, you can access the State of Maine's online sex offender registry by clicking here.