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Repeat offender gets 5 years for sex assault

WAKEFIELD — A repeat sexual offender from Westerly is going back to the Adult Correctional Institutions for five years on a conviction of second-degree sexual assault.

The man, Andrew W. Durfee, 25, previously served time in prison at 21 after pleading guilty to a Westerly police charge of first-degree child molestation for an offense that occurred when he was 15 years old. On Sept. 4, he pleaded no contest before Superior Court Judge Melanie Wilk Thunberg to a single sexual assault charge, again brought by the local police. Thunberg sentenced Durfee to 15 years, five years to serve, 10 years suspended and 10 years of probation. He was ordered to have no contact with the victim and to enroll in a sex offender program upon his release.

A charge of first-degree sexual assault and another second-degree sexual assault charge were dismissed. Two girls were involved in the latest case. Afterward, the mother of one of the girls complained that the judge had given him some time to take care of personal business before presenting himself at the Cranston prison to serve his sentence.

Westerly police said the most recent charges stem from incidents that occurred between 2004 and 2009, when Durfee’s mother lived with the victim’s mother. The incidents were reported to police late last year.

In his previous offense, Durfee was arrested in 2007 and charged with molestation that had occurred five years earlier at an unspecified location in Westerly. At the time that the police received the complaint, Durfee was living in North Stonington. He was charged with first-degree child molestation of a female younger than 14. He pleaded no contest to the charges. In 2008, he was ordered to serve one year in prison, with a year credit for time served, a 10-year suspended prison sentence, 10 years probation and ordered to enroll in a sex-offender program.

In 2011, Durfee was charged by Charlestown police with violating terms of his probation when he failed to register as a sex-offender in that town. Someone had tipped off the police to Durfee’s status as a violator. At that time, he was sentenced to a one-year term.

Despite her irritation that Durfee was not immediately locked up, a mother of one of the latest victims said that the judge’s decision would finally bring closure for those who have dealt with the pain of the incident for several years.

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