Dennis Pike Jr., 27, of Wilmington, and Codie Johnson, 20, of Whitingham, separately entered plea changes in front of Judge David Suntag, after agreements were reached by the defendants and the state. Pike and Johnson both initially pleaded not guilty to all charges on July 26. If convicted, each man faced a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, as well as a $10,000 fine, for each count of sexual assault. If Pike and Johnson’s pleas are accepted by Suntag at sentencing, they could both avoid jail time.
A third man involved in the incident, Jonathan Deblois, 21, of Readsboro, is facing seven charges stemming from two alleged incidents, including two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct and four counts of sexual assault of a victim less than 16 years old.
As reported in July, police say the victim called 911 early in the morning on Tuesday, July 23, and reported that she had been raped by the men in an East Main Street apartment. The victim told police that the men “took turns” with her. All three men admitted to sexual contact with the victim, and all claimed it was consensual and that they believed she was 18. According to police affidavits, the men had purchased alcohol for the victim as well, and both Johnson and Pike told police that the victim had become drunk.
As a result of the incident, Johnson was charged with two counts of sexual assault of a victim 16 years old or less, one count of lewd and lascivious conduct, and enabling the consumption of alcohol by a minor.
Johnson pleaded guilty to both charges of sexual assault, as well as the lewd and lascivious charge, which was changed to a misdemeanor charge of engaging in a prohibited act. The enabling charge was also dropped as part of the plea. As part of the agreement, Johnson would receive a deferred sentence for the two counts of sexual assault, meaning the charges would be expunged from his record after completing a probation sentence of five years. Johnson would also receive a suspended sentence of nine to 12 months for the engaging in a prohibited act charge, which would remain on his record.
In Pike’s plea agreement, the second charge of sexual assault was changed to a misdemeanor prohibited act charge, while the charge of lewd and lascivious conduct was dropped. Pike agreed to plead guilty to enabling alcohol consumption, one charge of sexual assault, and to the one charge of engaging in a prohibited act. In the plea arraignment, Pike will receive an 18- to 24-month suspended sentence on the prohibited act and enabling charges, as well as a deferred sentence on the one count of sexual assault, after completing a five-year period of probation.
Both Johnson and Pike signed standard, as well as special, sex offender conditions of probation, should the pleas be accepted. Both will be required to successfully enroll, participate in, and complete a program of treatment for sex offenders as directed by a supervising officer and the Department of Corrections.
The pleas will undergo a 60-day period in which a pre-sentencing investigation will be prepared for the court. This investigation will determine which programs or treatments, if any, Pike and Johnson will be required to complete, if Judge Suntag approves the plea agreements.