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Former Aquidneck Island Resident Sentenced to 40 Years for Child Molestation

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced today that Superior Court Justice Melanie Wilk Thunberg sentenced Christian Buchanan (DOB: 9/19/79) to 40 years, with 20 to serve and the remainder suspended with probation, for first degree child molestation and 25 years, with 15 years to serve for multiple counts of second degree child molestation.

Buchanan, with a last known address of 411 Nichols Street, Fall River, was found guilty in June by a Newport County Superior Court jury of three counts of second degree child molestation and one count of first degree child molestation. Justice Thunberg sentenced Buchanan to 40 years, 20 to serve on the one count of first degree child molestation, and 25 years, 15 to serve on each of three counts of second degree child molestation; sentences to run concurrent. Buchanan must attend sex offender counseling while incarcerated and upon his release from prison. He must also register as a sex offender.

During the trial, the state proved that Buchanan, while residing in both Middletown, and Portsmouth RI, sexually molested a young female, starting when she was 10 years old until she was 13 years old. The young woman reported the abuse to her mother, who in turn reported it to the Tiverton Police in April 2008. When questioned by the Portsmouth and Middletown Police about the allegations, Buchanan confessed to the molestation to both police departments. The defense sought to have the confession thrown out, but the motion was denied prior to trial and his statements to the police were introduced at trial.

Buchanan, who has been out on bail since April 2009, was immediately remanded after the sentencing to the Adult Correctional Institution.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney Ania Hopkins on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General. The joint investigation by the Portsmouth and Middletown Police Departments was led by Lt. John Gatta (Ret.) and Detective Richard Gamache of the Middletown Police and Deputy Chief Jeffrey Furtado for the Portsmouth Police.

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