March 12, 2010

Weld man faces sentencing for unlawful sexual contact

BETTY JESPERSEN

— By

Morning Sentinel

FARMINGTON — A Weld man is due to be sentenced Feb. 20 in Franklin County Superior Court for sexual offenses involving two young girls.

Michael G. Keim, 65, last week pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful sexual contact, a felony. In September, a Franklin County grand jury indicted Keim on 12 counts of unlawful sexual contact for incidents that occurred in 1999 and 2000. The offenses, which involved two sisters, took place during church retreats at Keim's home.

As part of a plea agreement, the Franklin County District Attorney's Office and Keim's attorney are seeking a four-year sentence, with all but six months suspended. The recommended conditions of Keim's release are three years' probation, sex-offender counseling, no unsupervised contact with children, no contact with the victims, and registration with Maine's Sex Offender Registry.

Keim owns Keim Publishing in Weld and has written and compiled several western Maine hiking, snowmobiling and cross country skiing guidebooks.

In 1999 and 2000, according to Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson, the girls and their parents were at Keim's property. The incidents reportedly occurred while Keim was chaperoning the children as they were swimming in a brook, and when Keim gave the girls a ride on his all-terrain vehicle, the prosecutor said.

The girls did not report the sexual touching at the time. Last summer, one of the girls, now 18, was on a church mission trip to Guatemala along with Keim, when he allegedly tried to touch her again, Robinson said.

A police report filed by Franklin County sexual assault investigator Detective David St. Laurent says the girl told her father, who then contacted police. A taped telephone conversation was set up between the father and Keim, and police said he admitted to the incidents and was remorseful, Robinson said.

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