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FERLAND 

Newmarket man pleads guilty to sexual assault

BRENTWOOD — A Newmarket man already serving a state prison sentence for distributing child pornography through Facebook pleaded guilty on Thursday to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at a park while free on bail.

Corey Ferland, 22, was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in state prison by a judge on Thursday as part of a negotiated plea agreement with county prosecutors. He pleaded guilty in Rockingham County Superior Court to two counts of felonious sexual assault and a misdemeanor sexual assault charge, prosecutors said.

According to a police affidavit, Ferland had the sexual encounter with the girl at a baseball park off of Elm Street in Newmarket around 1 a.m. on Sept. 8, and gave her marijuana to smoke.

The girl told Newmarket police that she met Ferland first at a local bus stop after communicating with him through Pinger, a text messaging service used on computers, the affidavit said.At the time, Ferland was free on bail awaiting trial on charges for distributing and manufacturing child sexual abuse images.

Ferland is serving a 2- to 4-year prison sentence after admitting that last Feb. 5 he sent sexually explicit photos of his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend to her father through Facebook.

He pleaded guilty in January to four counts of distribution of child sexual abuse images.

Prosecutors had dropped four other charges — including manufacturing the images — as part of a negotiated plea deal.

The sentence for the sexual assault conviction began Thursday.

It will largely run concurrent to his earlier prison term, but adds some time to his overall period behind bars, according to Assistant County Attorney Karen Springer. Ferland also received a suspended 3½- to 7-year prison term on one of the felony sexual assault convictions that could be brought forward up to five years after his release on parole, according to prosecutors. Had a jury convicted Ferland at trial, he could have faced up to 3½ to 7 years in prison on each of the felonious sexual assault charges.

jkimble@newstote.com


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