Rockland, ME — A highly-decorated veteran deputy of the Lincoln county Sheriff’s Office was indicted this week on 21 counts related to the alleged sexual assaults of multiple young girls throughout his career in law enforcement.
Deputy Kenneth L. Hatch III, 46, was originally arrested last June on multiple counts of sexual abuse against one girl. However, on Tuesday, as reported by Bangor Daily News, a Knox County grand jury indicted Hatch on 10 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, three counts of unlawful sexual contact and eight counts of aggravated furnishing of marijuana in connection with alleged incidents against three victims.
One of his alleged victims was a six-year-old girl whom over the years was repeatedly violated by this monster.
In 2004, according to court records, Hatch is accused of sexually assaulting the young girl. According to Assistant Attorney General John Risler, who presented the case to the grand jury, the indictments allege Hatch continued to sexually assault the same girl and provided her with marijuana into her teen years.
According to the report in Bangor Daily News:
In an affidavit filed in June in Wiscasset Unified Criminal Court, Detective Peter Lizanecz of the Maine attorney general’s office wrote that the teen told Augusta police in May that when she was 14 years old, Hatch offered her marijuana in exchange for sex in the back seat of his cruiser.
The young girl also alleged that as a child Hatch would give her cigarettes, alcohol, money, and marijuana as he continued to rape her in the back of his patrol car, while on duty.
Not only was he raping young girls, but this highly decorated deputy was using his police powers to give them drugs. According to court records, the victim testified that Hatch gave her marijuana from a plastic bag marked “EVIDENCE” that matched the same bags used by the sheriff’s office.
During his more than a decade of sexual assault on children, Hatch was the recipient of the department’s highest honor.
After joining the department, Hatch was named Deputy of the Year. Also, according to Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett, Hatch was presented with a meritorious award in 2015 — two years after the young girl came forward detailing her sexual abuse by Hatch.
“Deputy Hatch and Deputy 1st Class Brian Collamore’s compassion, skills, and professionalism are a testament to their commitment to the people of Lincoln County and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office,” Brackett said at the time, according to the Lincoln County News.
Did Hatch have the wool pulled over the eyes of his department, or were they willing to let these accusations slide to protect their reputation?
Officers of the year, as the Free Thought Project has pointed out time and again, raping, murdering, and molesting, is nothing new. However, seeing them receive justice is.
Despite being accused of sexual assault back in 2007, Champaign Police Officer Jerad Gale was just given his department’s highest honor in March. On March 30, Gale was named Champaign’s Officer of the Year.
Just three months later he would be arrested for strangling and raping two more women.
A former Houston Police Department ‘Officer of the Year’ award winner, Noe Juarez, was arrested last year and was indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to possess firearms connected with a drug trafficking offense and conspiracy to distribute five or more kilos of cocaine.
Jonathan Bleiweiss, 34, pleaded guilty to an array of charges last year, admitting to 14 counts of armed false imprisonment, 15 counts of battery and four counts of stalking. However, he avoided all of the charges with “sex” in them.
Most likely due to his police officer status, this former Broward Sheriff’s deputy was given an insultingly lenient plea deal. As part of that deal, Bleiweiss did not face charges of sexual battery, and as such will not be required by the state of Florida to register as a sex offender.
A group of approximately 20 undocumented immigrants alleged that Bleiweiss, harassed them, molested them during pat-downs, and threatened them with deportation if they refused to perform sex acts. Bleiweiss was named officer of the year just prior to being exposed as a sexual predator.
As the Free Thought Project reported last November, an investigation by the AP revealed around 1,000 policemen across the US had their licenses revoked and lost their jobs over the last six years on account of numerous sexual offenses that included rape and possession of child pornography.
The probe revealed that 550 officers were decertified for various sexual assaults, including rape. Some were dismissed for sodomy or sexual shakedowns, where victims were forced to perform sexual acts to avoid arrest.
A further 440 officers lost their jobs for other sex-related offenses, such as possessing child pornography, being a peeping Tom, sending sexually charged messages to underage teens or having sex while on duty.
About one-third of the officers lost their jobs for committing sexual offenses with juveniles.
The real number of sexual offenses could, however, be much higher, as AP only looked into registered cases where an officer lost their badge because of an offense. Lawyers and police chiefs acknowledged that some departments let the sexual assaults slide to limit their liability, allowing their staff to quietly resign or transfer to other duty stations or departments.
Furthermore, the probe notes that not all decertified officers faced criminal charges as some policemen surrendered their badges voluntarily to avoid a potential scandal.