Jury deadlocks in trial of deputy accused of abusing girls

A mistrial has been declared in the case of a onetime "Deputy of the Year" charged with sexually abusing three girls in Maine.

Jurors in Kennebec County acquitted Kenneth Hatch of Whitefield of two felony counts but deadlocked Monday on the remaining 20felony counts, resulting in the mistrial on those charges.

Prosecutors say Hatch abused the girls from 1999 to 2014. Court documents say the abuse of one girl started when she was 6 years old. The others were 14 or 15.

All told, he was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, unlawful sexual contact and furnishing marijuana.

Hatch pleaded not guilty. His lawyer said the accusers knew each other and had an ax to grind.

He has been on unpaid leave with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department.