A Starks man is facing multiple charges for allegedly sexually abusing a minor over a three-year period.

Who is the Suspect?

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster says Keith Merchant, 43, was arrested on Thursday.

WQCB Brewer Maine logo
Get our free mobile app

How Were People Alerted to the Situation?

His arrest was the result of an investigation by Detective Jeremy Leal that began when the Sheriff's Department received a complaint about allegedly inappropriate behavior between Merchant and a young person. According to the Morning Sentinel, Merchant is accused of abusing a minor under the age of 15 over a three-year period.

What are the Charges Against Merchant?

The Somerset County Sheriff's Office says Merchant is facing the following charges:

  • Gross sexual assault
  • Unlawful sexual contact
  • Sexual abuse of a minor
  • Violation of conditions of release

Merchant was taken to the Somerset County Jail, where bail was set at $50,000 cash. His bail conditions include not having any contact with the alleged victim or any person under the age of 18.

If you're the victim of sexual abuse, help is available through a statewide helpline, 1-800-871-7741. In addition, there are many resource centers across the state that can help in a variety of ways. A list of those locations can be found on the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault website. Statistics show that one in five Mainers will experience sexual assault at some point in their lifetimes. Each year, roughly 14,000 Maine residents will experience sexual violence, but too many cases go unreported.

LOOK: Here are 50 of your favorite retail chains that no longer exist

Are you ready to see the top 50 major retailers that no longer exist? Keep reading to see if your favorites made the list.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

More From WQCB Brewer Maine