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FORT EDWARD — A Fort Edward man who faces up to life in state prison for allegedly sexually assaulting two children refused a plea deal on Friday, setting the stage for a trial that starts Monday.

Richard M. Alger, 54, was in Washington County Court on Friday for a pre-trial hearing and to consider a plea offer that would result in him serving either 10 years in prison or a range between 5 and 15 years.

Alger faces a count of predatory sexual assault against a child, the state's weightiest sex charge, which could bring a prison term of up to 25-years-to-life. He would be required to plead guilty to two rape charges, including a first-degree rape count, but he rejected the offer.

"You understand you can be sentenced to significantly more time, up to a life sentence?" Washington County Judge Kelly McKeighan asked.

"Yes," Alger responded.

Alger was indicted on 10 charges that accuse him of sexually assaulting two girls, one under the age of 13 and the other 16. He faces counts of first-degree rape, criminal sexual act and sexual abuse as well as predatory sexual assault against a child.

He was arrested by Fort Edward Police in January for alleged rape of the older girl months earlier, and two months later Washington County sheriff's officers charged him in connection with the younger girl.

Alger has pleaded not guilty, and jury selection is to begin Monday. He is being held in Washington County Jail.

The case is being prosecuted by Washington County assistant district attorneys Brandon Rathbun and Christian Morris, while Alger is being represented by Martin McGuinness and Phil Perry.

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reporter

Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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