Pastor Frank “Skip” Gleason Pleads Guilty to Molestation Charge

My thanks to the Morning Sentinel in Maine for this story.

~~~

A former Carrabec High School administrator who on Tuesday pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor faces a maximum of 364 days in jail for his crime.

Frank “Skip” Gleason, 60, of Anson, was accused of hugging, kissing and fondling a 15-year-old boy during a ride home from a school.

Alan Kelley, deputy district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, said Gleason entered his plea before Justice Joseph Jabar early Tuesday morning in Kennebec County Superior Court. Gleason will appear in Somerset County Superior Court within 90 days for sentencing, Kelley said.

Kelley said the state dropped the first count of unlawful sexual conduct in exchange for Gleason’s guilty plea on the sexual abuse charge.

“The two counts are the same so, realistically, in terms of sentencing, they arise out of the same incident,” Kelley said. “It would be the same sentence.”

Gleason remains free on his original bail of $1,500 cash.

According to an affidavit obtained on Dec. 26, Gleason admitted in a taped phone conversation to sexual contact with the 15-year-old male Carrabec student. It is the policy of the Morning Sentinel not to name the victims of sex crimes.

Lt. Carl E. Gottardi II, a Somerset County Sheriff’s Department detective, was present with the victim when the conversation was recorded on Dec. 22. Later that day, Gottardi arrested Gleason.

Since then, Gleason has resigned his positions as assistant principal and athletic director at Carrabec. He also has stepped down as pastor of Maranatha Assembly in Anson.

The incident with the boy, according to the affidavit, occurred on the night of Dec. 21, when Gleason gave him a ride home following a basketball game. Gleason pulled the boy toward him, hugging, kissing him and then fondling him, the document states.

Kelley said Gleason’s guilty plea was an open one and not a plea bargain. That means Gleason’s sentence will be determined by a judge.

Josh Tardy of Newport, Republican leader in the state House of Representatives, is Gleason’s attorney.

The state considers both crimes to be misdemeanors. Kelley explained that the same crimes involving a victim 13 or younger would be felonies.

“It’s a legislative judgment,” Kelley said. “If people feel that changes should be made, it’s certainly something they can address with their legislators.”

Gottardi praised the student for coming forward, while expressing disappointment at the maximum penalty allowed by law.

“It’s unfortunate, but we don’t make the laws,” Gottardi said.

Tardy declined to comment as to the sentence he will seek for Gleason. He said it would be inappropriate for him to comment on the state’s minimum sentences.

Advertisements