Sidney man pleads guilty second time to raping young girl

Eric Bard sentenced to 28 years under a plea deal with the state
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 8:01 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 5:22 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - A Sidney man whose previous conviction for raping a 4-year old girl was overturned by the Maine Supreme Judicial court, pleaded guilty to the charges for a second time Tuesday, according to the Kennebec Journal.

33-year old Eric Bard initially pleaded guilty in 2014 to 21 counts of sexually abusing a girl he was babysitting and recording it on his cell phone.

He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

In an appeal, it was ruled the judge who presided over the first trial improperly met with the prosecution without a defense attorney present.

The newspaper reports that rather than face a new trial, Bard instead agreed to a plea deal with state prosecutors. He again pleaded guilty to all 21 charges against him. Bard received an agreed-upon, negotiated sentence of 28 years.

Prosecutor Paul Rucha told the newspaper that the plea deal was made to spare the victim from having to testify about what Bard did to her — and to bring the more than a decade-old case to a close with a conviction.

The victim’s mother did not attend Tuesday’s court hearing but submitted a letter expressing dissatisfaction with Bard’s sentence.