Hartford man facing up to six life sentences after third-grader comes forward

Year-long pattern of sexual assaults alleged

HARTFORD - A Hartford man who works at a grocery store in Lebanon was ordered held without bail earlier this week after he pleaded innocent to multiple felony counts alleging that he'd repeatedly sexually abused a young girl to whom he had frequent access.

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    David Kendall, 54, pleaded innocent on Monday afternoon to a mix of eight separate felony counts charging repeated aggravated sexual assaults, sexual assaults upon a victim under the age of thirteen and lewd & lascivious conduct with a child.

    Six of the counts filed against Kendall carry maximum sentences of life and each of the charges also carry mandatory minimum sentences of between 2 and 10 years, were he to be convicted.

    "The defendant's exposure (to possible jail time) is huge," Windsor County Deputy State's Attorney Heidi Remick told Judge Robert Gerety as she successfully argued against Kendall's request to be allowed to return home on bail.  "If he is convicted of even one of the first six counts he will have a life maximum," Remick noted.

    Kendall, who has no previous criminal record, stood behind the defense table in the courtroom and shook his head repeatedly as Remick read off a graphic account of what the girl told investigators had been happening to her over the course of nearly a year when she stayed overnight at Kendall's residence.

    In an affidavit filed with the court, Hartford Police Detective Kristinnah Adams wrote that Kendall initially denied any wrongdoing but then he allegedly admitted under questioning that some sexual incidents had transpired; however, he continued to deny what was perhaps the most serious conduct which had been reported by the putative victim.

    The girl told police that Kendall allegedly had "paid" her to keep quiet by slipping her two or three dollars the next day after the alleged assaults occurred.

    Detectives wrote that, while they were conducting their investigation into the girl's allegations, an older female relative of Kendall's told them that she too had been sexually assaulted by Kendall years ago and she claimed that he had also given her money in an alleged effort to silence her.  She told police she had reported the incidents at the time but that no one believed her, detectives wrote in the affidavit.

Vermont News can be contacted at vermontnews802@gmail.com

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