A 26-year-old New London man will serve six months behind bars following his plea in the to a lesser charge in a sexual assault case.
Judge Patrick J. Clifford ordered Lemek Alston, of Hawthorne Drive, to five years in prison, suspended after six months, with three years of probation. Alston must also have no contact with the victim in the case or her family, attend counseling as recommended, and have no contact with children under the age of 16 with the exception of his own child.
According to an affidavit by Patrolman Christopher Conley of the Norwich Police Department, a Norwich girl claimed that Alston sexually assaulted her in 2006 when she was 11 years old. The girl said the conduct continued about twice a month for two years.
The girl and her mother also claimed that Alston had been abusive toward the family, with incidents where they assaulted and strangled them. They said Alston was supporting the family for a time by selling narcotics.
Alston told police he had helped to financially support the family, but denied that he was involved in drug trafficking. He also denied the charges of sexual assault but said one of the girl’s family members had accused him of such conduct.
Conley said the Norwich Police Department determined that prior incidents of domestic violence involving Alston had occurred at the girl’s home. According to criminal records, Alston was convicted of breach of peace in Norwich in 2008 and given a suspended six-month prison sentence with one year of probation.
Alston was initially charged with first-degree sexual assault, two counts of risk of injury to a minor, second-degree threatening, and second-degree strangulation. The court later substituted the charges so that Alston was only facing the first three counts.
On May 24, Alston entered an Alford plea to a charge of risk of injury to a minor. The plea does not admit guilt, but recognizes that the state could prevail at trial.