Police allege relationship lasted two to three years
By Tom Gresham
A Williston man faces life imprisonment after being charged with having a long-term sexual relationship with the young daughter of a friend.
Mark Hulett, 34, was arraigned Tuesday on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. Both assault charges carry potential life sentences.
Hulett pleaded innocent to the charges. He is being held without bail at Chittenden Correctional Facility.
According to court documents, Hulett made a full confession to officers with the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations on Monday. Hulett, who was interviewed in an unmarked car at Taft Corners Mobil gas station at approximately 11 p.m., admitted to having sexual contact with the girl, who is now 10 years old, multiple times over the past two to three years, court records say. Hulett said the last time he and the young girl had had sex was in April.
Hulett is a friend of the young girl’s parents and often stayed over at their house. The girl’s father told police that they frequently found Hulett sleeping in the same bed with the girl in the morning. The parents also told police that Hulett often babysat the girl and was in the house alone with her.
In an affidavit, Detective Sgt. Bruce Bovat, director of CUSI, said he had told the girl’s father how upset he would have been to find a man sleeping in the same bed with his daughter. The father responded that he had thought she could handle it.
The Observer is withholding the names of the parents to protect the identity of the girl.
The girl never disclosed any inappropriate touching with police when she was interviewed. However, she did confide in a cousin that she was having a sexual relationship with Hulett, court documents say. She also told the cousin that she loves Hulett and did not want to see him get in trouble, pleading with the cousin not to tell anyone, according to the court records.
During his interview, Bovat asked Hulett what he would say to the young girl.
“I’m very sorry and it will never happen again,” he told Bovat, according the court documents. “I’m sorry if I led you to think something that wasn’t real.”
Police are investigating allegations that another man sexually assaulting the girl. In 2003, CUSI investigated a sexual abuse case involving the girl, Hulett and the other man, but no probable cause was found to arrest either man.