SKOWHEGAN — A former fire chief for the town of Athens was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child.

Sean Boyd, 46, of Athens, was sentenced by District Court Judge Brent Davis in Skowhegan after earlier pleading guilty to charges of gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact.

Sean Boyd, former chief of the Athens Fire Department. Photo courtesy of Somerset County Sheriff’s Office

The 20-year term is consistent with state sentencing guidelines for gross sexual assault against a child under 12.

After serving his sentence, Boyd will have 20 years of supervised release. He is to have no contact with the victim, her family or anyone under 18, undergo sex offender counseling and register as a sex offender on his release.

“The facts of this case are incredibly troubling,” Davis said from the bench.

Boyd was trusted by the victim and her family when he sexually assaulted her multiple times over a six-month period in 2014. He met the child and her family through church and was a close friend for several years, Davis said.


The victim came forward last June with allegations of abuse and Boyd was arrested July 1 by Detective Jeremy Leal with the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, according to Maeghan Maloney, the district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties. Boyd confessed to Leal and was indicted by a grand jury in October, she said. He pleaded guilty to the charges the following month.

Davis said the emotional testimony Wednesday by the victim, now 18, was a driving factor behind his sentence.

“The subjective effect of the crime on this victim can only be described as substantial,” Davis said. “All she can remember from her childhood is sexual abuse.”

But Davis said other factors were “also substantial.” Boyd had no criminal history and since his arrest he has accepted responsibility for his crimes and shown remorse, the judge said.

“All those years ago, I did do all those monstrous things,” Boyd testified Wednesday. “I am not the person I was when these crimes took place.”

Boyd testified that he and his siblings were abused by their father and other authority figures in his life, and said that he became “emotionally dead” and “desensitized” to abuse as a result.


“He was the victim of abuse … he then perpetrated that on someone else,” Boyd’s attorney, Drew Ketterer, said Wednesday.

Two therapists who have worked with Boyd since his arrest testified Wednesday that he’s a low risk to reoffend. A handful of people from Boyd’s church in Athens showed up to court to testify to his character.

But Maloney said that while Boyd presented a public face of trust and authority — serving on school boards, as fire chief, and as a deacon for his church — he used that facade to groom and sexually abuse a child and keep her silent for years.

Boyd resigned as fire chief in the weeks leading up to his arrest. The school boards on which he served represented the Athens Community School and Alternative Organizational Structure 94, both of which he resigned from July 3.

The victim testified Wednesday that she still struggles to complete daily tasks like school work, or even just getting out of bed in the morning. She said memories of her childhood have been entirely overwritten by Boyd’s sexual abuse.

“I was merely his plaything for years,” she said. “He left me silently suffering and with a huge burden to carry.”

She said for years she was too scared to come forward about Boyd, who was well-liked by her family and the community. Growing up, he was invited to many family gatherings and events, and frequently reminded the victim that the abuse was “our secret to keep,” she said.

“I still get scared, but I also feel alone, depressed, self-conscious, embarrassed,” she testified, “like nobody wants anything to do with me, and these scars will always define who I am as an individual.”

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