KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- A Shaftsbury man convicted in October of having sexual contact with a teenage girl he lived with was sentenced on Thursday to serve between six and 15 years in prison.
Charles Madigan, 53, was convicted by a jury of three counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. Bennington Superior Court Judge Cortland Corsones sentenced him to serve consecutive two to five years on all three and ordered them to be served consecutively.
At the trial, the girl testified that she had come to live with Madigan on a farm in Shaftsbury because she was friends with his daughter. Madigan supplied her with her own room, bed, and television. She said she enjoyed living on the farm and saw Madigan as a father figure.
The girl said the first time he touched her was one evening when she had a small amount of alcohol. The other two times he touched her occurred in her room. She said the incidents stopped after she asked him to supply her with a lock for her door, which he did.
Deputy State’s Attorney Christina Rainville asked Judge Cortland Corsones to sentence Madigan to a 10- to 45-year sentence. She said he had groomed the girl for abuse and made her dependent on him.
At the sentencing hearing, the state called a 34-year-old woman who said when she was roughly 12 years old Madigan had sexual contact with her on a regular basis. She was living with Madigan then, and said this would happen when her mother was working nights. She said the abuse stopped when her mother caught Madigan leaving her daughter’s room one night when she was home. The mother also testified, saying her daughter feared the family would break up and asked her not to report the incident to police. The then-young girl did report the matter later, saying she did so after being molested by someone else.
Madigan’s attorney, Joyce Brenner, thoroughly and repeatedly objected to those allegations being admitted. She said no charges or convictions ever came from them, and she also questioned both mother and daughter about when the mother was working nights and when she was not. Under questioning from Brenner, the mother said the allegations were reported to police around the same time she was divorcing Madigan.
Corsones said he would be sentencing Madigan on the charges he was convicted of and nothing more.
Ryan Nolan, a case worker for the Department of Corrections, said he conducted a pre-sentencing investigation on Madigan and classified him as being not likely to reoffend, however because of previous felony convictions for property crimes Madigan is considered a higher level offender by the department.
Madigan apologized at the hearing and said he has learned a great deal about himself in the eight months he has been incarcerated. Madigan had been free on conditions while the case was pending, but once he was convicted a higher bail was placed on him which he did not post.
Corsones said each charge was serious and it was important the community know that such actions would not be taken lightly. He noted that Madigan is amicable to treatment but also noted an evaluator’s concerns that Madigan might be trying to avoid further punishment and had, at the time of the report, not taken complete responsibility for his actions.
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