RAY BROOK - A Paul Smiths man is in police custody today for allegedly sexually assaulting two underage girls over the course of several years.
Ray Brook-based state police arrested Elwood J. Adams, 39, at 5:47 p.m. Wednesday and charged him with two counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child under the age of 13, a class B felony. He was also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor.
The arrest came on the heels of a three-week investigation by state police, the Franklin County District Attorney's Office and Franklin County Child Protective Services.
The investigation into the alleged abuse began April 19. District Attorney Derek Champagne was not able to tell the Enterprise who reported the abuse.
Police said Adams sexually assaulted two girls, both of whom were under the age of 13 when the abuse took place. The abuse allegedly took place in the town of Brighton and "had been ongoing for several years," according to a press release issued by state police. Adams was not related to the girls, Champagne said; he knew them through an acquaintance.
Champagne said a course of sexual conduct charge means the subject engaged in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child less than 13 years of age. The charge also means the subject engaged in at least one act of sexual intercourse with the victim or victims.
"The course of conduct was with each of them - repeatedly with both of them - and of a significant frequency," Champagne said.
Champagne declined to discuss further details about the case in order to protect the identity of the victims and their families.
If convicted, Adams could face a maximum of 25 years in jail, Champagne said.
Adams was arraigned in Brighton town court before Justice Nik Santagate. He was remanded to the Franklin County Jail in Malone in lieu of $25,000 cash bail and was still in custody as of this morning.
Champagne said Adams hadn't retained a lawyer as of Thursday morning.
A preliminary hearing is set for 6 p.m. Monday in Brighton town court.