HARTFORD, Conn. – The man accused in the disappearance of a missing teenager found locked in a storage room in his home was charged Tuesday with 11 counts of sexually assaulting her.
The assault charges against Adam Gault, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, are in addition to several other charges he already faced in the case.
Gault pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the original charges of second-degree unlawful restraint, second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree custodial interference, interfering with a police officer, risk of injury to a minor and three counts of second-degree forgery.
The girl, who had been missing for a year, was found June 6 when police officers searched Gault's home. An officer pushed aside a dresser blocking a door and found the girl, now 15, locked in the tiny room.
Police arrested Gault, 41, and two women who lived with him, Ann Murphy, 40, and Kimberly Cray, 26. The women pleaded not guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit unlawful restraint, conspiracy to commit risk of injury to a minor and interfering with police.
Police said the girl ran away from home in June 2006 and moved in with Gault. Police are trying to determine whether he had inappropriate relationships with her and other girls across the country.
The new charges stem from alleged assaults before the girl disappeared, authorities said. He also was charged Tuesday with 11 counts of risk of injury to a minor.
The girl wrote in her journal, which her mother found around the time she disappeared, that she was having a sexual relationship with Gault, according to a police search warrant application. She told a friend Gault was her boyfriend.
Gault's lawyer, Gerald Klein, has said his client "absolutely denies" that there was a sexual relationship.
In June 2006, Gault and the girl filed a police report alleging that she had been sexually abused by a family friend. Police said there was no evidence to support the charges and they have cleared her family of any suspicion of abuse.
The girl also told police she did not feel safe in her home and asked to be placed with Gault, the warrant said.
The Associated Press is not naming the girl or her parents to protect her identity, because police are investigating the sex allegations.