Woodbury man faces life sentence on child sex charge
BARRE — A National Guardsman from Woodbury faces charges of sexually assaulting one young girl for six years and having sex with another when she was 13.
Joshua H. Gilbert, 20, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Washington County criminal court in Barre on Thursday. He is facing charges of aggravated repeated sexual assault and sexual assault on a child under 16 years old, both felonies. If convicted Gilbert faces a life sentence for aggravated sexual assault and 20 years on the underage sexual assault charge and a combined $75,000 fine.
He is free on a $10,000 unsecured appearance bond.
According to the Vermont State Police affidavit, Gilbert fondled a girl at least 10 times starting when she was 5 and continuing until she was 11.
Gilbert is a member of the Vermont National Guard. The girl told state police he went away to basic training in the summer of 2011 and that when he returned, he went on Facebook asking her if she “might want to cuddle.” The girl said she declined.
Gilbert is also accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl last November. State police say the girl was staying at Gilbert’s house for the night.
After the girl went to bed, Gilbert came into the room and asked her to come to his room, according to what she told police. She did, and they had sex, police say. The girl told state police she had a crush on Gilbert.
State police say they called Gilbert to talk about the allegations. Gilbert agreed to meet state police, but a day later his attorney, William Cobb, told police Gilbert would not be talking to them.
State police say that during the phone conversation with Gilbert, they never mentioned what they needed to talk to him about. When Cobb contacted them, they say, he made a comment alluding to an “investigation having to do with a young girl and a consensual incident.”
In a separate incident, Gilbert was also arraigned Thursday on a negligent driving charge. According to state police, Gilbert crashed his red Mazda MZ3 into another car after trying to pass it on a corner on Route 2 in East Montpelier last month.
State police say Gilbert lost control and tried to correct but hit the other car instead. Neither driver was injured.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine on that charge.
A 16-year-old passenger was in Gilbert’s car and told state police he seemed to be driving at least 90 mph at the time of the crash. The passenger was taken to Central Vermont Medical Center for evaluation, but no injuries were reported.
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