Former teacher accused of sexual assault seeks new bail conditions

Benjamin Hodgdon II

Benjamin Hodgdon II

ELLSWORTH — The former Tremont Consolidated School teacher accused of sexually assaulting a young female student during his tenure at the school is asking the court to modify his bail conditions to allow him unsupervised contact with young members of his and his wife’s extended family, according to court documents.

The motion filed by the attorney for 47-year-old Benjamin Hodgdon II of Tremont is to be heard by the court on Aug. 18, just weeks before his case is scheduled to go to trial in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court.

A grand jury indicted Hodgdon in April 2014 on four counts of gross sexual assault, two counts of unlawful sexual contact and two counts of sexual abuse of a minor. He had been arrested in January 2014 on a gross sexual assault charge for his alleged molestation of a student during the 1999-2000 school year. At the time, he was a sixth-grade teacher and cross country coach at the Tremont school.

Hodgdon’s current bail conditions, among other things, prohibit him from having contact with children less than 16 years of age. According to the motion filed by his attorney, David Van Dyke of Lewiston, the need to modify bail follows the birth of Hodgdon’s son in July.

In support of the motion, Van Dyke states Hodgdon will need to have unsupervised contact with his infant son and others.

“Additionally, certain members of the defendant’s [and his wife’s] extended family should be permitted to reside at defendant’s home from time-to-time and have supervised and/or unsupervised contact with defendant to assist with childcare,” Van Dyke said.

The allegations of abuse surfaced in July 2013, when the complainant, who is now 29, met with a detective to report she had been sexually assaulted by Hodgdon numerous times when she was 13 and 14 years old and a student at the Tremont school.

According to court records, she recorded a conversation she had with Hodgdon in September 2012 in which he reportedly is heard pleading with her to not go to police about what had happened.

Subsequently, Hodgdon was interviewed by Detective Steve McFarland of the Hancock County District Attorney’s Office, where he admitted “he had gotten too close to [the complainant] and had crossed a boundary that should have been kept between teacher and student,” court records state.

During that same interview, Hodgdon reportedly told the detective that he had crossed another “boundary” a couple of years later when he engaged in a sexual act with a girl who was a high school senior.

Hodgdon, who owns a lawn care business, was a teacher at the Tremont from Sept. 1, 1991 to April 2, 2003, when he submitted a letter of resignation. He also coached sports at the school and at Mount Desert Island High School.

If convicted of gross sexual assault, Hodgdon faces up to 30 years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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