Norwich man pleads guilty to fondling of young girls

A 33-year-old former Norwich resident pleaded guilty Tuesday to groping four young girls between 2007 and 2009.

Ryan Lowe will be sentenced Sept. 11 to three years in prison followed by 10 years of probation for one count of risk of injury to a minor and three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. He will be required to register as a sex offender while on probation.

According to prosecutor Theresa Anne Ferryman, the victims were 9- to 12-year-old girls whom Lowe fondled during birthday parties and sleepovers. He was living in Tampa, Fla., when he was arrested in September 2011. He has been held in lieu of $200,000 bond while his case was pending.

Lowe, who is represented by attorney Kevin C. Barrs, pleaded guilty under the Alford Doctrine, which indicates he does not agree with all of the state's allegations but does not want to risk conviction at a trial. Judge Patrick J. Clifford told Lowe, who will be on strict sex-offender probation, that he may face a violation of probation charge if he denies having committed certain acts.

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