Waterville PE teacher found guilty of sex abuse

WATERVILLE — A former Waterville physical education teacher was found guilty of sexually abusing a student over the course of several years.

David Lemery was also found not guilty of a more serious sex abuse charge, according to court officials. The difference was whether or not Lemery and the victim were clothed.

Lemery, 50, of 145 Berrill Ave., Waterville, was found guilty by a jury at 10:45 a.m. today of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, a class D felony, court officials said. He was acquitted of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, a class B felony.

Lemery will face a maximum of seven years in state prison on the D felony. He could have faced up to 25 years had he been convicted of the B felony.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 11.

Authorities said from September 1997 through January 2002, Lemery sexually abused an underage girl in his office at Memorial Park Elementary School in Waterville. The girl was 5-years-old when the abuse began. According to testimony in the two-day trial, Lemery had the girl sit on his lap multiple times, and that he abused her at least 16 times per year over those years.

The victim did not tell the authorities until last year. She took the stand on Tuesday.

The jury began deliberations at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, then broke at 4 p.m. They returned to deliberate this morning at 9 a.m. On Wednesday afternoon, the jury asked Judge Michael L. Dwyer whether or not Lemery wearing clothes effected the nature of the charge.

Dwyer told the jury that first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child requires skin-to-skin contact, but second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child can occur through clothing. The jury acquitted Lemery of the first-degree charge, then convicted him of the second-degree charge.

Lemery was represented by attorneys Michael Spano and Emil Rossi. First Assistant District Attorney Dawn Catera-Lupi prosecuted the case.