Bath man charged with sexual abuse allegedly used Internet to lure teenage girl

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BATH — A 21-year-old man has been charged with 15 counts of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of criminal restraint.

Andrew T. Mank was summonsed on Jan. 11 by the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office for offenses that allegedly took place from March through November 2011 in West Bath and Topsham. The November 2011 criminal restraint offense occurred in West Bath.

In a case of sexual abuse of a minor, a person engages in a sexual act with another person, not a spouse, who is either 14 or 15 years old. The accused must be at least 5 years older than the other individual, Chief Deputy Brett Strout explained. It is a Class D crime.

Criminal restraint means that the accused knowingly restrained another person, Strout said. It is also Class D crime. He said Mank’s criminal restraint charge was separate from and not related to any kind of sexual crime.

Detective Sgt. John Burne investigated the case with Brunswick Police Detective Sgt. Martin Rinaldi and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office detectives.

Police allege that Mank developed a relationship through the Internet with a 14-year-old girl. Through this contact he allegedly grew closer to the girl and committed the offenses over the next eight months.

Mank used more than one website, Strout said, but for investigatory reasons the department is not releasing that information or Mank’s street address.

Mank is scheduled to appear in court March 13 at 1 p.m. He also faces other charges from Cumberland County, Strout said.

Investigators are also trying to determine if there are other victims and other suspects. People with information are asked to contact Burne at 386-5827.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or [email protected]. Follow Alex on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.