A jury trial tentatively set to take place this month for a Port Washington man charged with sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl will not happen after the defendant entered a no-contest plea to the charges.
James R. Esselman, 216 W. Jackson St., will appear in court at 11 a.m. Dec. 18 for a sentencing hearing in connection with two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child under 13 years old.
Esselman was charged in January; in March, he pleaded not guilty to the charges; in October, he changed the plea to no contest.
According to court records, the state is recommending Esselman serve 12 years confinement and 15 years extended supervision on each count consecutively, though a pre-sentencing investigation will take place before the December hearing. Until then, Esselman remains in custody without bail.
According to the criminal complaint, Esselman had intercourse with the girl on two occasions in November at his residence while babysitting the child. The incidents came to light on Jan. 21 after the victim told Esselman's mother they had played "boy butt and girl butt," and explained how the game made her cry. She then confronted her son about the allegation and Esselman admitted to it, but said he had only molested the girl once.
When police then interviewed Esselman, he admitted to sexually assaulting the girl twice and making the girl pose for sexually explicit photos.