Third defendant in sex assault changes plea, could avoid jail
by Jack Deming
Jan 10, 2014 | 3982 views | 0 0 comments | 86 86 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BRATTLEBORO- A Readsboro man facing seven charges stemming from two sexual assaults, one in Brattleboro and one in a Wilmington apartment in July, changed his plea in Windham Superior Court on Monday, pleading guilty to three charges. Jonathan Deblois, 21, of Readsboro, pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault of a minor under the age of 16, one count of furnishing alcohol to a minor, and an added charge of engaging in a prohibited act. Deblois had initially pleaded not guilty to four charges of sexual assault of a victim under 16 years old and two charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, stemming from the two separate incidents, as well as one charge of furnishing alcohol for a minor.

Two other defendants in the case, Dennis Pike Jr., 27, of Wilmington, and Codie Johnson, 20, of Whitingham, both pleaded guilty to similar charges stemming from the assault that occurred at Pike’s apartment in Wilmington on July 22. Both will receive deferred sentences for the sexual assault charges if their pleas are accepted at sentencing, and avoid jail time.

According to police reports, the first assault occurred between Deblois and the victim in the parking lot of a movie theater in Brattleboro on July 18, after Deblois said he was approached by the victim at a Wendy’s restaurant and was invited to go to a movie. Deblois told police the girl informed him she was 18, and while at the movies, they left and had sexual intercourse in his vehicle.

According to court documents, on July 22, Deblois, Pike, and Johnson all sexually assaulted the victim at Pike’s apartment on East Main Street. All three claim the sex acts were consensual, and all three said they believed the victim was 18. According to police affidavits, the men had purchased alcohol for the victim as well, and both Johnson and Pike told police that the victim had become drunk. The victim called 911 early in the morning on Tuesday, July 23, and reported that she had been raped by the men in an East Main Street apartment, and that the men “took turns” with her.

If Deblois’ guilty plea is accepted, three charges of sexual assault will be dismissed by the state, as well as one charge of lewd and lascivious conduct, which was reduced to a prohibited act charge which is a misdemeanor. Deblois will face no jail time under the agreement, receiving a deferred sentence on one charge of sexual assault of a minor, and suspended sentences of nine to 12 months for the furnishing charge and prohibited act charge. Each charge of sexual assault carried a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Deblois will be required to complete five years of concurrent probation time for the two charges, including special sex offender probation, should the plea be accepted. Deblois will be required to enroll, participate in, and successfully complete a program of treatment for sex offenders as directed by a supervising officer and the Department of Corrections.

Deblois’ plea will now undergo a 60-day pre-sentencing investigation. Johnson and Pike are scheduled to appear for sentencing on March 11.
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