NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine (NECN) -- Maine's former top cop is out on bail charged with unlawful sexual contact with a 4-year-old girl.
The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office says they first became aware of the allegations against 73-year-old Andrew Demers of New Gloucester last week after he confessed to a family member.
Demers served in law enforcement for 36 years, 26 of them with the Maine State Police, his last 6 as Chief, before retiring in 1993.
Sheriff Kevin Joyce says Demers told their detectives he sexuallly abused the child, who was known to him, 9 or 10 times over the last several months.
Demers turned himself in Monday morning.
"This is an egregious case of sexual abuse that will divide the family, not to mention what happened to a 4 year old who really didn't know what was going on," said Joyce.
Joyce says the abuse took place at the home Demers shares with his wife on Bald Hill Road.
A woman who answered the door and identified herself to NECN as Demers' daughter said she did not believe the charges against her father.
Maine's current state police chief, Colonel Robert Williams released a statement saying the department is "stunned at the allegation and saddened for the victim and their family."
The chief said when they were made aware of the allegations last week, they turned the information over to the DA to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.
Sheriff Joyce says child abuse cases are always heart breaking, but this one was particularly so because the suspect was one of their own.
"When I read the report, I could almost see the eyes of the 4 year old child," said Joyce. "It is disturbing to see another law enforcmeent officer involved in this kind of thing. It's troubling."
Demers is now free on $5,000 bail under the condition that he has no contact with anyone under the age of 16.
If convicted on the felony charges, Demers could face up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 find.