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Former County man pleads guilty to child sex charges in Alabama

A Maine native and former petting zoo employee has pleaded guilty Tuesday to multiple counts of sexually abusing children in Alabama.

Daryl Victor Raymond Jr., formerly of Stockholm in Aroostook County, was arrested by Florence, Alabama, police in 2016. The 61-year-old was accused of touching six children inappropriately when they visited a traveling petting zoo he was working at in Florence.

According to the indictments handed down by a Lauderdale County, Alabama grand jury, Florence police received a complaint from a parent shortly before Raymond’s arrest in which they stated that inappropriate touching occurred on a pony ride. After his arrest, the families of five other children came forward.

All of the victims were girls between 3 and 6 years old.

The petting zoo, Jungle Safari, was set up in a parking lot in Florence when the alleged incidents occurred.

Raymond would guide the pony by the saddle horn, and that’s when the touching of the victims would occur, court documents stated.

Jungle Safari closed up and left Florence shortly after the first allegation was brought to police.

Raymond remains in custody in the Lauderdale County Detention center.

If convicted, Raymond could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.

Neither Raymond’s defense attorney James Engelthaler, nor Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly could be reached for comment this week.

Sentencing is set for March 7 at 9 a.m. in Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Gil Self’s courtroom.

The Alabama Media Group contributed to this report.

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