A Manchester man faces three rape charges stemming from a two-hour-long attack in a city cemetery Thursday afternoon, less than a week after he was released from jail when the state failed to obtain an order to commit the man to a mental hospital.
Police have charged Amuri Diole, 27, with three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and one of criminal threatening after a Thursday afternoon assault in the Valley Street cemetery in Manchester. Court papers list Diole’s address as the New Horizons homeless shelter, though his attorney said he had been living in the cemetery.
During Diole’s arraignment Friday, Assistant County Attorney Elena Brander said the victim lost consciousness when Diole slammed her head into a granite pillar in the cemetery. The woman was able to grab her phone from her purse and call 911 before her attacker chased her down and began assaulting her again, according to Manchester police reports. She was wearing only a sweatshirt when police found her.
“She is embarrassed. She had to run into the arms of police half naked. Also, she is scared,” said Brander. Diole has a lengthy record that includes robbery, assaults, criminal threatening and violation of probation.
Diole’s public defender said the record reflects his client’s struggles with homelessness. He said Diole was living at the cemetery.
In February 2020, Diole was found incompetent to stand trial, after he had been charged with an assault in Merrimack. Doctors who evaluated him said he would likely not be able to participate in court proceedings, and noted symptoms of psychosis.
On Friday evening, Brander told the Union Leader that at a hearing on Jan. 26, 2021, a court found Diole could not be restored to competency with mental health treatment. The court found he was dangerous, and ordered he be held for 90 days, while the state pursued an involuntary commitment.
The state was unable to secure an involuntary commitment order, Brander said, so Diole was released from the Valley Street jail on April 23, less than a week before the alleged assault in the cemetery just across the street from the jail.
During Diole’s arraignment Friday, his public defender questioned if evidence exists to corroborate the woman’s account of what took place in a cemetery in a heavily populated area of the city.
“Essentially, what she is saying is nobody saw or heard or walked through the cemetery over a two-hour period,” said public defender Tom Stonitsch. Although Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi ordered Diole jailed on preventive detention, she granted Stonitsch’s request for an evidentiary hearing on May 17 “to fill out the picture a little more.”
“I don’t have anything that would lead me to believe there is any reason for the victim to lie,” Nicolosi said.
Police said the attack took place at Valley Cemetery. When they arrived shortly before 5 p.m., they found the victim naked from the waist down and blood on her hands and legs.
“She was wet as if she had been outside in the rain,” the report reads. She told police the attack had lasted two hours.
She told police her attacker put a knife to the back of her neck at one point and to the front at another, threatening to kill her.
Police found Diole on the back side of the mausoleum and arrested him. The crypt is on an embankment that overlooks the lowest area of the cemetery where homeless people often live.