SOMERSWORTH — A local registered sex offender is on trial this week charged with groping an alleged victim who is transgender and transitioning to female.
William Pandolfi allegedly assaulted the individual July 31, 2018, as they were cleaning the former PhugginBurger on Main Street. The restaurant was closed at the time, but the owners and alleged victim were preparing for an interview with a local television station.
County Attorney Thomas Velardi told a jury Monday that a shirtless Pandolfi entered the restaurant and approached his victim saying he wanted to have sex with the woman that rode a motorcycle that was parked outside.
Velardi and the alleged victim both described Pandolfi as dejected when he found out the woman he had been watching through the window of his 9 High St. apartment with lust was transgender.
“That’s when I started to get a downward feeling,” the alleged victim said. “He was in disbelief. He was like, ‘That can’t be you.’ I had to break it to him that it’s me.”
The victim tried to explain, thinking Pandolfi was simply intoxicated.
“He was like, ‘How could you do this to me? I loved you. How could you be a guy?’” the alleged victim said.
Pandolfi allegedly turned violent, restraining the victim and saying, “I’ve raped guys in prison, and am going to enjoy raping you because you’re pretty.”
Pandolfi is charged with two counts of sexual assault for touching the alleged victim’s chest and buttock. He is also charged with burglary, kidnapping and obstructing the report of a crime because he allegedly stopped the 38-year-old from completing a text message asking for help.
Court documents show he knocked a cellphone out of his alleged victim’s hand while saying, “You ain’t calling the police.”
Wade Harwood, Pandolfi’s defense attorney, told the jury the alleged victim’s story is not consistent and Pandolfi was only in the restaurant to help someone find a job.
“I do want to point out one thing to you, you’ll hear the order of events change. I’m going to ask you to keep that in mind when you’re listening to the testimony and when you’re determining whether or not the government has proven its case,” Harwood said.
Pandolfi has been convicted of sexual assault in the past. Records from the New Hampshire Department of Safety show that he assaulted a person under the age if 18 in April of 1998. He also was convicted of animal cruelty in 1991.
The trial is expected to last four days.