- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

BELFAST, Maine (AP) - A Winslow man who taught automotive technology at the Waldo County Technical Center has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 17-year-old student.

WABI-TV (http://bit.ly/1xfkke3 ) reports that 46-year-old Michael Gagnon pleaded guilty Tuesday to gross sexual assault.

He was given a deferred sentence, meaning if he stays out of legal trouble for a year, he can withdraw the plea and instead plead guilty to the less serious charge of assault, which carries a two-month jail sentence.

The district attorney says it would have been difficult to convict Gagnon at trial since a judge ruled his statements to police couldn’t be used as evidence and the student would have had a hard time testifying.

Police say Gagnon assaulted the girl when he took her on “test drives” of vehicles worked on by other students.

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Information from: WABI-TV, http://www.wabi.tv

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