Warren man gets no jail time for sexual assault against teen

By Stephen Betts | Apr 13, 2019
Source: File photo

Rockland — A 22-year-old Warren man will serve no jail time if he meets terms of a deferred disposition over the next two years.

Michael Canfield pleaded guilty Friday, April 12, in Knox County Superior Court to felony unlawful sexual assault. A more serious charge of gross sexual assault was dismissed in exchange for the plea.

Under terms of the deferred disposition, if Canfield refrains from new criminal conduct and gets counseling, the felony charge will be reduced to the misdemeanor charge of unlawful sexual touching.

He will then be sentenced to a fully suspended 364-day sentence, to be followed by a year of probation.

He is prohibited from having unsupervised contact with anyone younger than 18 years old.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald said the victim, who was in the courtroom, was supportive of the agreement. The prosecutor pointed out that if the case had gone to trial, there could have been proof problems. He also pointed out that Canfield had no criminal record and was relatively young.

Justice Daniel Billings accepted the plea and said the sentence agreement was reasonable, because a trial could have gone either way.

An affidavit filed by the Knox County Sheriff's Office at the time of Canfield's arrest July 5, 2018, reported that the assault occurred April 6 in Warren.

The 17-year-old woman met with Canfield after corresponding with him over Facebook. The woman said they went to his residence and he sexually assaulted her after she told him to stop and he refused.

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