Andrew LeColst arraigned in Salem Superior Court on child rape charges

Andrew LeColst, a Middleton firefighter and former hockey coach at Masconomet Regional High School, during his initial arraignment in August 2018 in Salem Superior Court on child rape charges. 

MIDDLETON — A Middleton firefighter and paramedic pleaded guilty Tuesday to the repeated sexual abuse of a young teenage girl in the mid-2000s and was sentenced to two to five years in state prison.

Andrew LeColst, 41, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated child rape and one count of indecent assault and battery on a child during a hearing in Salem Superior Court.

His prison term, to be followed by five years of probation, was the result of a plea agreement between the Essex district attorney's office and LeColst's attorney, which was accepted by Judge James Lang.

The judge said he was concerned that the sentence wasn't long enough given the length of time the abuse went on — nearly three years — and its severity, but said he would defer to the judgment of the district attorney's office and the victim's wishes.

The victim was between the ages of 13 and 15 when the abuse occurred. She disclosed it to her family in the late 2000s, but went to police only after years of therapy gave her the strength to pursue the case, she told Lang in a victim-impact statement.

The sentence will be followed by five years of supervised probation, during which LeColst will be required to have no contact with the victim or her family, must register as a sex offender, take part in sex offender treatment and counseling and will be barred from working in any field or as a volunteer in which he has contact with children under 16.

That last condition reflects the fact that LeColst was a high school physical education teacher and coach at the time of the allegations. He also co-owned a youth hockey club at the time.

LeColst, who has been free on personal recognizance since his indictment and arraignment in the case in 2018, was taken into custody in the courtroom at the conclusion of the hearing.

This story will be updated.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.

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