BRATTLEBORO -- A Jamaica man has admitted to lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.
In exchange for Zachary Cheschi's guilty plea to that felony charge, Windham County prosecutors agreed to drop a felony count of sexual assault of a minor.
Cheschi, 19, has not yet been sentenced. But his plea agreement calls for sex-offender treatment and a deferred sentence that, if Cheschi complies with court-ordered conditions, would allow him to avoid jail and eventually seek expungement of his record.
State Police have said they were notified in May that a girl younger than 16 had been sexually assaulted. The Reformer does not identify victims of sexual assault.
Court documents say the victim at first denied any sexual contact with Cheschi but later acknowledged such contact. According to an affidavit, Cheschi "told her not to tell anyone about having sex with him. Cheschi told her he would get in trouble because of his age."
Cheschi pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in August and was ordered to have no contact with the victim, with whom he allegedly had been spotted drinking alcohol.
On Wednesday, he entered a guilty plea to lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.
If Cheschi's plea is accepted by a judge, he will serve four years of probation under a deferred-sentence agreement. If he violates that probation, he could be sentenced to serve up to 15 years in prison -- the maximum penalty for lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.
Court documents show that the proposed conditions of Cheschi's probation include completing sex-offender treatment and undergoing a "psycho-sexual evaluation."
He also can have no contact with the victim in the case; must submit to random searches and polygraph exams; cannot have contact with females under age 16; and "shall not work or volunteer for any business or organization that primarily provides services to or employs persons under the age of 16 years."
Mike Faher can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.