BRENTWOOD — Prosecutors have decided to retry a Dover man for allegedly raping a 26-year-old woman after a jury in March only convicted him of drugging the woman and her two friends after they went bar hopping around downtown Portsmouth.
The decision to retry Aaron Bonds, 45, on two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault raises the prospect of a jury adding a longer stretch of state prison to his sentence.
Bonds is accused of sexually assaulting the woman outside of a Portsmouth apartment in the early morning hours of July 11, 2012.
He faces up to 20 to 40 years in state prison if a jury convicts him on the sexual assault charges.
The sentence would be an enhanced penalty because of a 2003 conviction in Strafford County Superior Court for sexually assaulting a woman while she was passed out from either alcohol or drugs at a Somersworth house party, according to prosecutors.
A Rockingham County jury found Bounds not guilty in March on one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault, and deadlocked on two other counts, which prompted a judge to declare a mistrial.
Bonds was convicted of possession of a controlled drug and dispensing a substance representing to be a controlled drug.
Judge N. William Delker sentenced Bonds in April to consecutive prison sentences — totaling 10 to 20 years — for the felony drug convictions.
Delker said he believes that Bonds targeted the women.
Defense lawyer Brian Lavallee argued at the first trial that his client committed no wrongdoing, and that it was likely that the woman just regretted whatever happened and went to the police.
Prosecutors said that Bonds met two of the women on July 10, 2012 at a Portsmouth restaurant, and provided one of them with cocaine mixed with another drug.
Later in the night, Bonds met up with three of them at an apartment where they were drinking beer after a night of bar hopping. Bonds had put out more of the cocaine for the women to use, but did not take any himself, prosecutors argued.
The cocaine was laced with a drug 20 times more powerful than morphine, which immobilized one of the women and made them sick, according to court testimony.
Bonds then sexually assaulted the 26-year-old woman while she was getting ill outside a friend’s apartment, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors and Bonds’ lawyer still have roughly a week to try to negotiate a plea deal, or take the matter to trial June 16, according to a judge’s order.