Man charged after admitting relationship with 14-year-old
BELFAST — A Belfast man was charged with sexual abuse of a minor June 9 after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.
Tony A. Huffman, 20, first came to the attention of Belfast Police after they received a referral about the ongoing relationship from another agency, police said.
Detective Gerald Lincoln spent over a month investigating the claim and said that both Huffman and the 14-year-old victim admitted the relationship existed. Lincoln also collected electronic evidence of the relationship during his investigation.
The charge of sexual abuse of a minor is used when the victim is 14 to 15 years of age and the involved adult is at least five years older than the minor. Lincoln said had the girl been any younger, the charges would have been much different.
When the victim is under 14 years old the perpetrator is charged with gross sexual assault, which is a class A crime and carries a possible sentence of up to 30 years, along with a possible $50,000 fine.
Sexual abuse of a minor is considered a Class D crime in Maine, which is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine, according to Maine criminal code.
The charge of sexual abuse of a minor can be enforced as a statutory charge, meaning that the charge can be applied when the victim is younger than Maine’s age of consent, even if the victim engaged willingly in sexual acts with the accused.
The age of consent in Maine is 16; adolescents aged 15 and under do not have the legal ability to give consent for sexual activity.
Huffman is expected to make his first court appearance in Waldo County Unified Court July 6.
Erica Thoms can be reached at email@example.com