Chad D. Cornish

TOPSHAM — A 35-year-old Lisbon man who allegedly thought he was meeting with a 13-year-old girl at a home off Main Street Friday afternoon was met by police instead and charged with attempted gross sexual assault.

Chad Cornish, 35, of Lisbon was arrested on a Class B felony and transported to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, according to Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry. He is being held without bail pending his arraignment on Monday.

The investigation began after the girl’s parents reported text messages found on their daughter’s phone between their daughter and Cornish a few days prior to the arrest, Merry said.

“The arrest was a result of a multiday investigation in which Cornish had multiple text message conversations with a 13-year-old female and arranged to meet the girl after school,” a news release states. “Throughout the investigation, the girl was never put in a position to actually meet with the suspect and the girl’s parents were fully aware of the situation.”

Police staked out the parking lot at 149 Main St. in Topsham at around 2:45 p.m. on Friday. Police say they arrested Cornish when he arrived there to meet the girl.

Cornish was charged with attempted gross sexual assault “because he took substantial steps toward the commission of that crime,” Merry said.

The case is still under investigation. Merry said Cornish is not on the state’s sex offender registry and does not have a history of this type of alleged behavior.

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