BRENTWOOD — A Londonderry man who worked for the Transportation Security Administration was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in state prison after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a young girl.
Dwayne Valerio, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault on Friday, leaving it up to a judge to hand down a sentence.
Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway asked for consecutive 10 to 20 year prison terms on the two charges. A judge agreed to her recommendation after a hearing on Friday in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Valerio was arrested March 25, 2011, after an investigation by Londonderry police. The assaults occurred in Londonderry between 2003 and 2008. The girl, now 13, told a girlfriend last year about being sexually assaulted. It was then reported to Londonderry police.
Valerio initially faced five counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. In exchange for his guilty plea, county prosecutors agreed to drop three of the charges.
Valerio confessed he committed the assaults, prosecutors said. He was arrested the day after he was interviewed by police, and he was indicted by a Rockingham County grand jury in June 2011.
The case appeared to be heading for trial back in January when Valerio told a judge he wanted to withdraw his intention to plead guilty and fire his lawyer. Valerio complained that he was not communicating enough with his public defender.
Valerio was not allowed to dump his lawyer, but he was allowed to change his plans and go to trial. Months later, Valerio reversed course and submitted a new court filing saying he intended to plead guilty instead of going on trial.
A conviction at trial could have meant more prison time for Valerio had he been convicted on all five charges.
Before his arrest, Valerio worked as a Transportation Security Administration officer at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, but prosecutors say the assault had no connection to his job.
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James A. Kimble may be reached at JKimble@newstote.com.