ERIC FRANCIS PHOTO
George Simonds of Springfield was ordered held without bail Monday after he pleaded innocent to sexual assault on a child, a charge that carries the potential of a life sentence.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Springfield man is facing the possibility of life in prison and was ordered held without bail after an 11-year-old girl came forward and told investigators she’d been sexually assaulted earlier this month.
George Simonds, 43, who was placed on probation last month in Rutland after he was convicted of domestic assault, entered an innocent plea Monday to a single felony count of sexual assault on a minor, a charge which carries a mandatory minimum of three years in jail and a maximum of up to life, if Simonds were to be convicted.
Springfield Detective Anthony Moriglioni wrote in an affidavit filed with the court that the case unfolded rapidly after the girl told relatives that Simonds had allegedly shown her a graphic porn video and engaged in several of the sex acts that were on it with her.
Moriglioni said that when Simonds came to the Springfield Police Department voluntarily for an interview Friday, Simonds initially denied that any sex acts had taken place, saying, “I’m not a sick person,” and “I’m not a bad guy” several times, according Moriglioni’s transcript of the conversation.
The detective said that Simonds, who is currently on disability, initially blamed the girl’s version of events on pressure from relatives of hers whom Simonds reportedly suggested were trying to find leverage to deprive him of an insurance settlement that he is set to receive soon.
Moriglioni said that Simonds’ story began to shift after he mentioned that, as part of the investigation, the girl had been videotaped describing the alleged events during an interview with a former deputy state’s attorney with training in forensic interview techniques.
It was at that point, Moriglioni wrote, that Simonds allegedly “advised that stuff did happen” before giving his own account which, Moriglioni wrote, matched many of the details the girl had reported.
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