BRENTWOOD — A 10-year-old girl fought back tears yesterday as she told a judge how a Haverhill man committed a crime that would affect her for the rest of her life.
Shortly before his trial was to start in Rockingham Superior Court, Ronald Beausoleil, 33, pleaded guilty to exposing himself to the young girl as she shopped with her aunt at Wal-Mart in Salem in September 2011.
“This affected me,” the child told Judge N. William Delker during a plea and sentencing hearing. “I will always have an image in my head.”
As the jury waited in another room, Beausoleil pleaded guilty to an indecent exposure and lewdness charge in exchange for a suspended prison sentence of three and a half to seven years.
But Beausoleil, who said little in court, didn’t walk way a free man.
He will be sentenced Feb. 24 in connection with a similar incident at Wal-Mart in Plaistow in March 2013.
A jury convicted Beausoleil on four charges in November — aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault, accomplice to theft by unauthorized taking and driving after revocation.
In that case, he touched a 9-year-old girl in a sexual manner in the store’s toy aisle. Beausoleil also was charged with shoplifting spark plugs from the store and driving with a revoked license. He is a registered sex offender in Massachusetts.
Beausoleil and his attorney, Robert Watkins, told Delker and Assistant County Attorney Jennifer Haggar that Beausoleil wanted to plead guilty.
“He wanted to take responsibility for this offense,” Watkins said later. “At the last minute, he wanted to take responsibility so the girl won’t have to testify.”
Beausoleil was upset after listening to the young victim testify in the Plaistow case, Watkins said.
But the aunt of Salem victim, her eyes red from crying, said Beausoleil should have been forced to stand trial.