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Bail mulled for man awaiting new trial in sex assault case

Union Leader Correspondent

March 22. 2013 12:51AM
Leonard Aldrich, 64, of Hampton asked a judge to free him on a lower bail as he awaits trial on sexual assault charges. Aldrich is accused of sexually abusing three children. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/FILE PHOTO)

BRENTWOOD - A judge is weighing whether to grant bail for a Hampton man accused of sexually assaulting three children after declaring a mistrial earlier this month. Leonard Aldrich, 64, asked to be released on personal recognizance bail on Thursday while he awaits a new trial in May on charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

He is accused of sexually assaulting two young girls and a boy, now age 7, between December 2010 and January 2012. Defense lawyer Patrick Fleming said arrangements have been made through Aldrich's family that he could live in a Hampton home and abide by conditions that he have no contact with victims or witnesses in the case.

Fleming said his client can't afford to post the $20,000 cash bail.

Assistant County Attorney Stephanie Johnson argued for keeping Aldrich jailed, citing concerns that the county had no way to supervise him.

"The nature of the charges is quite serious," she said. "The main issue is supervision."

Judge Marguerite Wageling said she would take the arguments under advisement.

Wageling declared a mistrial during the second day of Aldrich's trial when it was revealed the defense did not have access to all documents from the state's Division of Children, Youth and Families concerning the alleged abuse.

Aldrich has been held at the Rockingham County jail since his arrest more than a year ago. Fleming said his client would agree to nearly any bail condition so long as he was freed from county jail, including reporting regularly to the Hampton Police Department.

Courts Hampton

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