Third plea deal reached in Wilmington assault
BRATTLEBORO -- A third man has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a juvenile at a Wilmington apartment in July.
Jonathan Deblois, 21, of Readsboro, on Monday entered pleas to sexual assault of a minor, furnishing alcohol to a minor and prohibited acts. He will be sentenced at a later date. But Deblois' plea calls for deferred and suspended jail time with five years of probation, echoing the agreements struck with two other co-defendants in the case.
Deblois was arrested in late July along with Codie Johnson, 20, of Whitingham, and Dennis Pike, 27, of Wilmington, after police received a report from a girl who said she had been "raped by multiple male suspects" during the course of one night at the apartment.
The victim, who was under 16, told police that the three men "took turns with her," according to a court affidavit filed at the time.
The Reformer does not identify victims of sexual assault.
Investigators from the Wilmington Police Department and the Vermont State Police say all three men admitted to having sex with the victim but claimed it had been consensual. However, given the victim's age, she was not able to legally give that consent.
Alcohol was a factor in the incident. Court documents say Deblois and Pike bought alcohol for the victim and drank at residences in Jacksonville and Wilmington.
The assaults happened at Pike's apartment, police said. Pike also was accused of taking trash and a mattress pad to a Dumpster the following morning in order to "destroy any evidence of the incident," the affidavit says.
Last month, Johnson pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and a count of prohibited acts. The same day, Pike entered pleas to sexual assault, prohibited acts and furnishing alcohol to a minor.
The plea agreements for all three men, while not yet formally accepted by a judge, would allow them to avoid jail time and to eventually have the felony sex-assault convictions expunged from their records as long as they comply with court-ordered conditions during five years of probation.
If they violate probation, however, they would be facing jail time of up to 20 years for each of the sex-assault counts.
Deblois' probationary terms include mandatory sex-offender treatment and DNA testing. Also, he is not to 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," according to court documents.
As part of the plea agreement with Deblois, the Windham County State's Attorney's office agreed to dismiss three other counts of sexual assault and two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.
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