LACONIA — Because the complaint did not state the alleged victim “had not consented to exposure contact,” shock rocker Marilyn Manson wants a judge to dismiss charges that he assaulted a videographer at a 2019 concert in Gilford by spitting and blowing his nose at her.
Through his attorney, Kent Barker of the Nashua firm Winer and Bennett, LLP, Manson on Monday filed a motion in Laconia District Court to quash the complaint because contrary to the language of the charging statute, the complaint lacked the specific allegation that he had purposely or knowingly caused “unprivileged contact to another.”
The complaint, wrote Barker, “fails to state that the alleged victim, who was filming the defendant’s performance that she knew to be evocative, had not consented to exposure contact.”
Additionally, the complaint made a mistake, said Barker, by failing to state “how the defendant’s actions, where a live shock/rock show was being filmed, were intended to be directed toward the alleged victim rather than toward the camera she was holding.”
Furthermore, he said, “The complaint does not include any factual indicia indicating that contact with the alleged victim in the context of filming one of the Defendant’s live shows was not a mistake.”
While the complaint alleges that Manson acted knowingly, “…there are insufficient facts alleged to show how the Defendant intended his actions to impact this alleged victim, rather than the camera, as part of his performance,” said Barker.
He summed up that “The complaint, as charged, lacks adequate facts, details, and information about the event in question to properly describe the crime with which the Defendant has been charged.”
Lacking the above, said Barker, “The Defendant cannot adequately prepare for trial or protect him from double jeopardy informed only of the facts and circumstances alleged in this complaint,” which is why the court should either dismiss the complaint against Manson or order the state to provide “a bill of particulars.”
Earlier this month, Manson, 52, who lives in Los Angeles and whose real name is Brian Hugh Warner, pleaded not guilty in connection with his alleged actions on Aug. 18, 2019 at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion.
According to court documents filed by Gilford police, Manson first spat upon the videographer as she was livestreaming his performance to a large screen on either side of the stage, and minutes later blew what was described as “a significant amount of mucous,” at her.
He allegedly pointed and laughed at the woman as she left the stage after the second incident.
Separately, in a notice of consent defense, Barker said the alleged victim “was an experienced camera person who was well aware of the type of live performance this Defendant, and many other artists, conduct which could expose her to incidental physical contact.”
He said the type of “close up” filming the alleged victim was doing “at the time of the alleged assaults commonly exposes any camera person to incidental contact with sweat, saliva and phlegm.”
“Despite being experienced and aware that such contact was likely, the alleged victim chose to accept the assignment of filming the ‘close up’ images of the performance and even went back to resuming close-up filming after exiting the stage following the first alleged assault,” said Barker.
Manson performances for the past 20 years, he pointed out, “are well known to include shocking and evocative antics similar to those that occurred here.”
“The alleged victim consented to exposing herself to potential contact with sweat, saliva and phlegm in close quarters,” he said, adding that “This consent negates the element of the contact being unprivileged.”
Gilford police said they spoke with witnesses, including Manson’s business manager and a representative of Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, who observed some of the alleged offenses. Additionally, many concert-goers filmed the incidents on their cellphone and uploaded them on social media.
The charges against Manson are Class A misdemeanors that are punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.