BARRE — Police say an East Montpelier man previously convicted for sexually assaulting a minor had sexual contact with children.

Randall J. Lavin, 53, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Washington County criminal court to two felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, second offense. If convicted, Lavin faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. He was released on a $25,000 unsecured appearance bond.

In an affidavit, Barre City Police Detective James Pontbriand said he met in July with a woman who reported inappropriate sexual contact Lavin had with the child of a family friend. Pontbriand said the woman was concerned because her 16-year-old son was in contact often with Lavin.

The woman told Pontbriand her son admitted to her Lavin had touched him when he was 12 years old. She said her son told her it happened when he was staying at Lavin’s home.

Pontbriand said he looked into the incident with the family friend that sparked the woman’s concern, and discovered a family from North Carolina were visiting Lavin when he groped a 13-year-old boy over the boy’s clothes during the visit.

Pontbriand said the 16-year-old victim reported on Aug. 5 that he was staying at Lavin’s home one night and was asleep when Lavin came into the room and groped him under his clothes for a few moments. He said it happened again a few weeks later.

The victim told Pontbriand he didn’t tell anyone what happened until he heard about the victim from North Carolina.

Pontbriand said the second victim was interviewed in North Carolina on Sept. 5. He told investigators Lavin sexually abused him twice while the victim was visiting Vermont in June. Pontbriand said the second victim didn’t say anything about the abuse until Lavin came to North Carolina to see family and he was supposed to sleep on an air mattress with the victim.

Pontbriand said Lavin sent the mother of the 16-year-old victim an email saying, “I know my actions have significantly altered our relationship and I am so very sorry for that,” and “I will have to wait a while longer to see if I can repair the damage I’ve caused.” Lavin also told the mother he never meant to cause so many problems and hoped they could move forward, according to the affidavit.

Pontbriand said he went to Lavin’s residence Nov. 8. He asked Lavin if he knew why Pontbriand was there and Lavin said he did, according to court records. Pontbriand said he asked to speak to Lavin about it, but Lavin told him he wanted to speak to a lawyer.

Court records show Lavin was convicted of sexual assault on a minor in 1989. He was sentenced to three to 10 years, all suspended except for 30 days to serve.


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