SPRINGFIELD — A Bennington man serving a 40-years-to-life prison sentence for repeatedly sexually abusing multiple children was found dead in his cell in Springfield on Wednesday.
Charles Mould, 74, has been in jail since 2008, after being convicted on 21 individual charges, including repeated sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault on a victim less than 10 years old, and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. Many of the victims were visitors at his Pleasant Street apartment in Bennington.
He was found unresponsive 3:20 a.m. at the Southern State Correctional Facility.
A Bennington Banner article from 2009 quoted one of the many victims about the abuse's effect on his life.
"I felt no self-worth. I felt as if I had lost my soul," the man said. "I'd like to see that no other child gets touched by him again."
Mould was housed in the prison’s infirmary when he died. According to a Vermont State Police statement, corrections officers called for emergency medical services to respond to the facility. Mould was pronounced dead at about 3:38 a.m.
Detectives from the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations were notified and responded to the facility to perform an investigation. There has not been any evidence that Mould’s death was suspicious, according to investigators. An autopsy will be performed at the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington to determine the cause and manner of death.
Mould is the eighth inmate to die in the state’s corrections system this year, the sixth at the Springfield facility. There has been a higher-than-usual death rate among inmates in Vermont this year.
A total of 15 inmates died in Vermont’s prisons from 2017 to 2021, 12 at the Springfield prison alone; eight have occurred in the past year, with six to eight attributable to natural causes, the Vermont Department of Corrections said Wednesday.
"No single factor fully explains the increase in deaths among the incarcerated population this year," said Corrections Commissioner Nicholas Deml. "To better understand this trend, the Department of Corrections is partnering with the Defender General's office to study this issue and any possible interventions we can make to avoid these tragic outcomes. We do know, however, that Vermont's incarcerated population is on average growing older and more medically complex. As a Department responsible for the care of these individuals, we recognize the increasing challenges this population is facing and must insure individuals in the correctional system receive the same standard of care as those in Vermont's communities."
No further information was available as of Wednesday afternoon. The investigation into Mould’s death remains ongoing.