Poultney man pleads guilty to sex assault
A man charged with the rape of a 7-year-old girl pleaded guilty to the crime Tuesday in exchange for a plea deal that would allow him to avoid going to jail.
Charles A. Gould originally pleaded innocent to a felony charge of aggravated sexual assault against a victim under the age of 10 which prosecutors say took place in the year 2000.
But in exchange for a plea agreement — amending the charge to drop the aggravating factor, sentencing him to a jail term of two years and six months to seven years with all jail time suspended, and placing him on probation — Gould agreed to enter a guilty plea Tuesday.
The alleged rape was brought to the attention of police by a family member of the girl. But the woman, who was 18 before she told her story to police, didn’t initially want to talk to authorities, according to state police Detective Trooper Scott Dunlap.
By corroborating the woman’s story with the accounts of others who were present on the day of the assault, Dunlap said investigators were able to verify her story and build a case against Gould.
The 32-year-old Gould remains free on a $25,000 unsecured appearance bond pending his sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.