School board member Arthur Beaudry displayed more courage than caution last week when he touched the third rail of Manchester politics. Beaudry brought up the possibility of closing one of the city's...
MANCHESTER— A U.S. Postal Service letter carrier accused of sexually assaulting children on his West Side route pleaded guilty Monday in Hillsborough County Superior Court to a misdemeanor charge of simple assault, for spanking a child as part of a game of "playing house" in the mail truck.
Francis "Frank" Saucier, 44, of 260 Pawtucket Blvd., Tyngsboro, Mass., was sentenced to 12 months in the Hillsborough County House of Corrections, with 11 months suspended for two years of good behavior. Saucier, who had been free on bail, was taken into custody to begin serving his sentence.
Saucier was indicted in July on six counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, one felony count and two misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure and lewdness, and a misdemeanor count of simple assault in connection with his alleged behavior involving three youngsters between April 1, 2011, and April 9, 2012.
Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Kenneth Perkes said the remaining charges were not pressed, but Saucier is required as part of the sentence to undergo a sexual offender evaluation and follow-up with any recommended treatment. The plea also specifies that he spanked the child on the buttocks, not just that he had unprivileged physical contact.
Saucier is also barred from direct or indirect contact with the three children, is barred from going within 150 yards of the trio's residences, and is barred from going to Conant Street. He is also barred from contact with any minor child, except family members, until that is approved by the sexual offender evaluator.
Perkes said there are a number of factors that must be considered in such a case, including what has to be proved and what the victims are capable of doing on the witness stand, including undergoing cross examination. He said sometimes the victims have issues that complicate their testimony and, by extension, prosecution.
"We don't get to choose our victim, the defendants do," said Perkes, adding that offenders often deliberately select the most vulnerable children.
He said Saucier picked the wrong child to spank in April 2012. The 10-year-old boy told his parents what had happened to him.
The 10-year-old, a younger boy and a young girl told authorities that Saucier invited them into his truck where they would "play house."
The 10-year-old boy told police that when they played house, Saucier would be the father and when the children were "bad," he would spank them.
The father of two of the children said in court: "This has been a long time coming for me and my family. My boys went through a lot."
Parents in the Amory Street neighborhood became suspicious of Saucier's behavior and contacted police April 9, 2012, after learning the children were in the postal vehicle, and Saucier was arrested on the assault charge. The additional charges followed an investigation by police and the U.S. Postal Service.
Saucier was suspended after his arrest. U.S. Postal Service spokesman Tom Rizzo said Monday that he was trying to find out what effect Saucier's conviction will have on his employment status.