Two men charged with sexual assault of girl, 13
BRATTLEBORO — A 19-year-old Bondville man and a 22-year-old Brattleboro man both pleaded not guilty last week to charges they each sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl last summer in separate incidents on the same day.
Jared C. Wilkins, who has more than a half-dozen criminal charges already pending against him, was released on conditions that he not contact the girl. He was also ordered not to contact the girl's friend, who was also at the Brattleboro home when the assaults took place, as well as his co-defendant, Ethan Engelhard of Brattleboro.
Engelhard also pleaded not guilty to the same charge of sexual assault on a child under the age of 16. He was released on similar conditions as Wilkins.
If convicted, both men could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Both men told police that the girl had told them she was 17. The two men were friends, but it did not appear they were aware they were each having sexual relations with the girl.
And according to court documents, Wilkins was upset when he learned the age of his alleged victim, noting she was the same age as his sister.
"Wilkins said he was very bothered by this," the police affidavit stated.
The girl had gone to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital the day after the alleged assault and told investigators that she didn't really remember the assault, but that Wilkins and her friend told her they had had sexual relations.
The girl told Brattleboro police that she didn't know the name of the man who assaulted her but that Engelhard knew him. The girl described Wilkins as "white, tall, ugly and annoying."
Wilkins didn't know the girl's name either, but identified her by photos given to him by police.
"It was a mistake and I shouldn't have done it," she told police investigators.
When her friend warned Engelhard the girl was actually 13, and told her she shouldn't "do this to people," the girl replied "I can and I did," court records stated.
Engelhard initially denied knowing the girl, but then admitted he did know her and spent at least a day with her but that when he learned she was actually 13 and not 17, he cut off contact. He also told police he had taken a large amount of Klonopin during one of their encounters.
He initially denied having any kind of sexual relationship with her, aside from kissing, but then admitted they had known each other for a couple of weeks
After police received a search warrant for Engelhard's and the girl's Facebook accounts, it was clear he knew her, and they had exchanged sexually explicit photographs of each other.
Judge John Treadwell in the case of Engelhard didn't find probable cause for a second charge of promoting a sexual recording, saying there was "no evidence of a recording of sexual conduct by a child."
Wilkins has about a half dozen criminal charges already pending against him, including two drunk driving charges, burglary, unlawful mischief, petty theft and harassment by telephone.
Contact Susan Smallheer at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802 254-2311, ext. 154.
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