BRENTWOOD — A Raymond man serving a 20- to 40-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting a young girl in 1998 was convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting a second girl repeatedly for five years.
A jury convicted Patrick Eschenbrenner, 51, of seven counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and a single count of witness tampering after roughly three hours of deliberation in Rockingham County Superior Court.
He was found not guilty on a single count of aggravated felonious sexual assault.
The abuse happened between 2002 and 2007, beginning when the girl was 7 years old.
During the years of abuse, Eschenbrenner was taking care of the girl’s mother, who was terminally ill and later died.
Assistant County Attorney Jerome Blanchard told jurors during closing statements Wednesday that the details the girl remembered about the sexual assaults as well as a phone call recorded by Raymond police in 2011 proved the abuse actually happened.
Jurors got to listen to the phone call during which Eschenbrenner says, “I used you … and I am sorry. It was selfish, sick and wrong.”
Eschenbrenner also told the girl during the conversation that he had hoped she did not remember what happened to her.
“This is the first time he finds out that she remembers,” Blanchard said.
Eschenbrenner was free on bail at the time, after a 2008 conviction for sexually assaulting another young girl was overturned by a judge. The sexual abuse in that case occurred in 1998.
He was visiting a family acquaintance in northern Maine while awaiting a new trial, when he also saw the girl in the second case on Thanksgiving 2011. The girl later confided to a relative that she was sexually abused by Eschenbrenner.
Raymond police investigated the matter and received permission to record a conversation between the girl and Eschenbrenner before arresting him. Eschenbrenner then wrote the girl a letter from jail, suggesting that prosecutors would have to drop charges against him if she did not appear in court to testify.
The state Supreme Court later disagreed with overturning Eschenbrenner’s conviction in the first case, sending him back to prison for 20 to 40 years.
Judge N. William Delker ordered Eschenbrenner to be held without bail at the county jail after the verdict. Eschenbrenner will be sentenced Jan. 31.