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Highgate Teen Faces New Sex Charges - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Highgate Teen Faces New Sex Charges

St. Albans, Vermont - June 1, 2006

A Franklin County teenager faces new sex charges, just days after he was accused of raping a young girl in his mother's daycare. Thursday, the teen was charged with molesting a classmate at the Missisquoi Valley Union High School multiple times in school, while school was in session.

"I'm not saying nothing," Kyle Berthiaume, 16, told reporters as he left the courthouse Thursday afternoon after he plead not guilty to another sex crime.

Last Friday, Berthiaume pled not guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault on a minor. Police say in that case, he raped a little girl while she was in the care of his mother in the daycare operated out of the Berthiaume's home in Highgate. Police say Berthiaume confessed that he walked the child into the woods behind the house and sexually assaulted her many times over a two-year period, starting when the child was eight years old.

"He admitted to ten different assaults of one kind and five different of another kind. And in my mind, I think he was minimizing the number of times it happened based on the victim's statement," said Vt. State Police Det. James Claremont.

Claremont explained that news reports about the daycare crimes last week prompted a 16-year-old female classmate of Berthiaume at the Missisquoi Valley Union High School to come forward with accusations that he had been molesting her at school. The teenager told police Berthiaume first sexually assaulted her a year and half ago when the students and teachers were gathered in the gym during a bomb scare.

"This young lady was in the gymnasium in a little bit of a secluded area," said Claremont. "He joined her in that area and an incident happened right there with a gym full of people. And according to the victim, he has been grabbing her body periodically since then, grabbing her breasts and buttocks in the school."

Police say school officials have co-operated completely in the police investigation, but they declined comment to Channel 3 on Thursday.

Berthiaume pled not guilty to the new charge of sex assault on his classmate. He was released in the custody of his father with orders to stay away from the victims and the school pending disposition on the sex charges that carry a potential life sentence.

Brian Joyce - Channel 3 News

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