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Dover man pleads guilty to Portsmouth sex assault

BRENTWOOD — A Dover man pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman after a jury only convicted him of drugging her and two friends as they went bar hopping in downtown Portsmouth.

Aaron Bonds, 45, pleaded guilty in Rockingham County Superior Court to one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault just as county prosecutors were preparing to retry him.

Bonds will face a judge on Monday for sentencing.

He is expected to receive a sentence that will run concurrent to a 10- to 20-year prison term that he is serving for the drug convictions. A jury in March convicted him of supplying the drugs to the women, but not guilty on one sex assault charge and deadlocked on two other counts.

Prosecutors dropped one of the sex assault charges as part of Wednesday’s plea deal.

Bonds sexually assaulted the woman outside of an apartment in Portsmouth in the early morning hours of July 11, 2012 while she was getting sick, according to prosecutors.

He had met with two of the women at a restaurant in downtown Portsmouth earlier in the night and provided them with cocaine.

One of the women testified that she snorted some of the cocaine at the restaurant and it tasted like there was something wrong or different in it. But Bonds was contacted by the women later that night again to meet up and he provided them cocaine laced with another drug, according to court testimony. Prosecutors noted that Bonds did not charge the women for the drug or take any himself. The cocaine was laced with a drug 20 times more powerful than morphine, which immobilized one of the women and made them sick, prosecutors said.

The plea deal Bonds struck in the sex assault charges eliminated the chance of him facing an extended term behind bars because of prior sex assault convictions.

He faced up to an additional 20 to 40 years in prison on each of the sexual assault charges if a jury convicted him at trial.

He has a 2003 conviction in Strafford County Superior Court for sexually assaulting a woman while she was passed out from either alcohol or drugs at a Somersworth house party, according to prosecutors.

jkimble@newstote.com


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