Martell takes plea deal

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Paul Martell, a convicted sex offender who police say sexually assaulted a 12-year-old boy in Colchester, accepted a plea deal Monday.

Martell, 53, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated sexual assault on a minor, a charge that carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.

Two other felonies, for aggravated sexual assault on a minor and for lewd and lascivious conduct, will be dismissed.

Martell has been held without bail since April. His sentencing hearing is yet to be scheduled.

Police testified Martell admitted the abuse, which began in December 2016, while being treated in the hospital for a pill overdose. He told detectives the overdose came after a confrontation with his ex-wife, to whom he also confessed his victim’s accusations were true.

Martell has been in and out of court over the last six months, including a June hearing where he requested a new lawyer after his then-attorney missed a court date.

Monday’s appearance was originally billed as a motion hearing to suppress his confession to police. Wearing a gray shirt and green pants, Martell spoke only to confirm he understood what the deal meant for his case. He then entered his guilty plea.

Judge Kevin Griffin explained the state can still argue the two dismissed charges during Martell’s sentencing and can seek a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Martell will undergo assessments prior to the sentencing, including a psychosexual analysis. He previously served 12 years in prison stemming from two convictions of sexual assault on a child in 2003. His parole expired in 2016.