ALFRED — Earlier this week, a Portland man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor.

On Tuesday, at York County Superior Court, Justice Paul Fritzsche sentenced Joseph Flister, 36, of Cumberland Ave., Portland, on five counts of gross sexual assault, five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and 10 counts of violation of privacy, according to a statement from York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery.

His crimes involving a 14-year-old girl were discovered after his attempts to video record a female co-worker’s use of a tanning booth led to an investigation by Biddeford Police.

Flister has no prior convictions.

On two counts of gross sexual conduct, Fritzsche sentenced Flister to 20 years in prison, with all but 12 years suspended, and four years of probation.

For two other charges of gross sexual assault, Flister was sentenced to eight years fully suspended and four additional years of probation, consecutive to the eight-year sentence.

On the final count of gross sexual assault, he was sentenced to five years, fully suspended, followed by four years of probation also consecutive to the eight-year sentence, for a total of 12 years probation.

Flister was given a five-year concurrent sentence on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.

He was sentenced to 364 days on each of the 10 counts of violation of privacy, with the sentence for the 10 counts to run concurrently.

Conditions of probation include: registering as a sex offender for life, no contact with the victim, submitting to random searches for possession of sexually oriented material, and to complete counseling and treatment as a sex offender.

The alleged crimes against the 14-year-old girl were committed at 27 Emery St., Biddeford, in 2012, where Flister was living at the time, according to Biddeford Dep. Police Chief JoAnne Fisk.

He was arrested Feb. 12 of this year after the criminal activity was discovered during the investigation into actions he committed at a Biddeford fitness club where he had worked in January.

According to Fisk, a woman who worked at the club told police that on Jan. 22 she mentioned to Flister she would be using the tanning booth, but when she went to do so she saw a suspicious device that she thought was a video recording device and didn’t use the booth.

The following day, Fisk said, the employee said when she first looked in the tanning booth the device wasn’t there. But after mentioning she would be tanning to Flister, the next time she looked in the booth, she saw the device. That’s when the woman called the police.

When police were called in they confiscated the suspicious device and on Jan. 24 they determined it was a video recording device, said Fisk. In addition, Flister’s image setting up the device was captured on the camera through a mirrored reflection.

That same day, police executed a search warrant at Flister’s Emery Street residence.

Police seized computers and recording devices.

The gross sexual assault and other charges involving the 14-year-old girl stem from data on the seized computer, said Fisk.

— Staff Writer Dina Mendros can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 324 or [email protected]

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