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Trial begins for Plaistow lawyer charged with sex assault of teen boy

Union Leader Correspondent

July 29. 2014 12:48PM
Lawrence Buswell, 53, listens to arguments Tuesday in his trial in Rockingham County Superior Court on sex assault charges. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/Union Leader Correspondent)

BRENTWOOD – A Plaistow lawyer provided a 15-year-old boy with vodka and took the youth out on his boat to watch fireworks in July 2011 before raping him on Country Pond in Kingston, prosecutors argued Tuesday.

But the defense for Lawrence Buswell, 53, maintained during the opening day of his trial on sexual assault charges that the boy is simply a liar who made up the assault to avoid trouble with his parents.

"The victim in this case is Larry Buswell," defense lawyer Lincoln Soldati said during opening statements on Tuesday. "He is the victim of a disturbed young boy, who having lied cannot back out."

Buswell is facing two counts of felonious sexual assault for allegedly forcing the boy to engage in two sexual acts after he climbed back aboard the boat from a nighttime swim.

Assistant County Attorney Lisa Cirulli told jurors that they only had to find that Buswell engaged in sexual acts with an underage boy to return a guilty verdict.

"He doesn't have to say no, he doesn't have to scream, he doesn't have to rebuff his advances," Cirulli said about the boy.

She said that the boy's family had camped at Country Shores Campground in Kingston, a business owned by Buswell's parents.

Buswell had a camper on the grounds as well, according to the victim's testimony. The teen, now 18, testified that he was friends with Buswell's twin daughters.

He testified that he went to Buswell's camper looking for his daughters on the night of the assault. Instead, he found Buswell alone drinking beer. Buswell offered the youth some apple-flavored vodka that was on a nearby table, the boy testified. When they heard fireworks going off outside, they decided to go watch them on Buswell's boat, the teen testified.

Soldati began picking apart statements the teen made to police and the child advocacy center that gave varying details about Buswell's clothes and the assault.

"You're a liar, aren't you?" Solidati asked the teen at the beginning of his cross examination.

Buswell faces up to 3½ to 7 years in state prison on each of the charges if a jury convicts him.

(For more on this story, see Wednesday's edition of the New Hampshire Union Leader.)

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