December 27, 2012

Maine case against alleged child rapist postponed a second time

State has not received competence report for Eric Bard, 23, of Sidney, who allegedly raped a 4-year-old girl he was babysitting

STAFF REPORT

AUGUSTA -- The court case of a Sidney man accused of raping a 4-year-old he was baby-sitting has been delayed for a second time.

Eric Bard, 23, was indicted in August on 11 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and seven counts of gross sexual assault, all class A felonies, and two counts of unlawful sexual contact, which is a class B crime.

Bard was baby-sitting a 4-year-old girl when the alleged offenses occurred, according to the affidavit of state police Detective Christopher Tremblay. Police allege he recorded the acts on his cellphone.

Bard was in Kennebec Superior Court Wednesday morning to be arraigned on the charges, but prosecutors and his defense attorney agreed to postpone the case until Jan. 29 because the state had not yet received a report on Bard's competence to face the charges.

The case was initially delayed in September because Riverview Psychiatric Center's 92 beds were full, so it didn't have space to admit and evaluate Bard. His case was put on hold, and he remained in jail.

One of Bard's two defense attorneys, Gina Yamartino, said in court Wednesday the competence evaluation has since taken place but copies of the report have not yet been distributed. Bard sought, and received, a continuation of the case, in a proceeding before Justice Donald Marden.

Attorney Ronald Bourget, who is also Bard's attorney, said the evaluation is necessary to ensure Bard understands the charges against him.

Bard, in an orange jumpsuit and with his long hair covering his face, did not speak in court Wednesday.

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