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Bail increased for Mass. man charged with sex assault in Plaistow store's toy aisle
Ronald Beausoleil listens to a judge during his probable cause hearing in the 10th Circuit Court in Plaistow Monday morning. He is accused of sexually assaulting a girl in the Plaistow Walmart. (JASON SCHREIBER PHOTO)
Ronald R. Beausoleil, 33, of 972 Amesbury Road, Haverhill, Mass., appeared in the 10th Circuit Court in Plaistow Monday morning where a prosecutor asked a judge to increase bail from $25,000 to $100,000 cash only, saying he was a threat to the community and has a criminal history requiring him to register as a sex offender.
"The state and the police department have grave concerns as to the danger (to) the community should bail be posted," police prosecutor Jennifer Kunsch told the court.
Judge Sharon Devries raised bail to $50,000 after an hour-long probable cause hearing where details of the alleged assault on a 9-year-old girl were discussed.
Beausoleil faces two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault for allegedly touching the girl's buttocks and genital area, as well as charges of shoplifting and operating after suspension.
Beausoleil is a Level 3 sex offender in Massachusetts who was convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14 in 1999 in Grafton County and convicted again in 2007 of attempted open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior.
Police were called to the store on Route 125 around 8 p.m. on March 10 after the girl reported the incident in a toy aisle.
The lead investigator from the Plaistow Police Department testified the girl had asked her mother if she could look at toys while her mother was just a couple of aisles away. Her mother agreed. While the girl was alone, police said Beausoleil approached her and began a conversation.
"She felt he was creepy because he kept coming up and down the aisle," the investigator said, adding that the girl "had a feeling he was circling her and waiting for a moment."
After the incident, the investigator, whose identity is being withheld because he's an undercover officer, said the girl immediately told her mother and store management, but Beausoleil allegedly fled the store before police arrived.
While both the girl and Beausoleil were seen on surveillance camera footage viewed by police after the incident, the investigator said the alleged assault wasn't caught on camera.
In an interview with police, the investigator showed the girl an image of the man on the surveillance video and she said it looked like him. She also gave police a description of what he was wearing and said he smelled like smoke. The investigator said the surveillance video shows a man police believe is Beausoleil smoking a cigarette before he entered Walmart.
Beausoleil was arrested the next day after information about the incident was released to other law enforcement and the media providing a description of the suspect and a truck that he was believed to have been driving that night.
Rockingham County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Caracciolo saw a man matching the description in the Walmart parking lot and he was arrested and charged in connection with the assault.
Police later interviewed Beausoleil's wife, who said she was with him at Walmart and claimed that he had stolen spark plugs and that "she was with him the whole time and he didn't do anything that was being alleged," the investigator said.
But, the investigator said, Beausoleil told another police detective that he was at Home Depot that night and not at Walmart.
After walking out of Walmart, the investigator said the surveillance video shows Beausoleil sprinting through the parking lot and almost getting hit by a vehicle.
Public defender Tony Naro asked the investigator if it's "uncommon" for a shoplifter to run.
The investigator said it wasn't uncommon, but then reminded Naro that Beausoleil claimed he wasn't in Walmart that night. Naro then asked if it was uncommon for thieves to deny they were in a store.
"That is correct," the investigator said.
Naro asked the court to dismiss one of the felonious sexual assault charges alleging that he touched the girl's buttocks area over her clothing. He argued that the law used to bring that charge applies only to genitalia. The judge has not yet ruled on the request, but found probable cause for his arrest on the other sexual assault charge.
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