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Courts and Crime

Litchfield Woman Faces Sex Trafficking Charge

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Litchfield woman faces a felony charge of aggravated sex trafficking for allegedly coercing a 17-year-old girl into prostitution.

Attorneys for 51-year-old Gretchen Patrick entered a plea of not guilty on her behalf in Augusta District Court on Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge alleging she promoted prostitution.

The recently added felony charge of aggravated sex trafficking will be handled later in Kennebec County Superior Court.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney tells the Kennebec Journal the aggravated sex trafficking is based on the age of the girl. Maine law says a sex trafficking charge can be elevated if certain factors are involved, such as coercing someone into prostitution or forcing someone to engage in prostitution to pay off a debt.

Patrick's attorney says it's premature to comment on the charges.