Merrimack’s police chief says she is appalled that a 22-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a minor was released on personal recognizance bail this week.
Logan Chaput, a Milford baseball coach, was arrested on Wednesday on several charges, including felonious sexual assault and manufacturing child sexual abuse images, both felonies.
“I am completely frustrated,” said Merrimack Police Chief Denise Roy.
After the victim, who is under the age of 16, disclosed the alleged sexual assault to police, Roy said Chaput confessed to the crime.
Chaput was also charged with a misdemeanor count of sexual assault, according to court documents, which indicate that Chaput allegedly tried to obtain sexual images from another minor victim in Merrimack as well; in both instances, the victims are males under the age of 16.
“I am just a little concerned. Here we have child victims — more than one. I am appalled that we would allow a suspect with child victims to walk free,” said Roy.
Roy said she is extremely concerned for the safety of the children involved.
“We have no control over what the judge does, but the county attorney should be asking for cash bail,” she said.
Roy said the case was transferred to the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office because of the felony-level offenses, although Merrimack police requested that Chaput be held on cash bail.
The Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office, however, agreed to let Chaput out on personal recognizance bail.
“The prosecutor that was assigned (Assistant County Attorney Lin Li) looked at the law and the facts surrounding the offenses and felt they made the appropriate recommendation to the judge in this case for the bail,” said Hillsborough County Attorney Mike Conlon, adding the judge, Jacalyn Colburn, ultimately agreed.
Speaking in general terms, Conlon said that bail in felony cases is based on flight risk and dangerousness, stressing cash bail is typically used for a flight risk situation.
“He made comments to the fact that he was leaving the state for a period of time — that is another concern we had,” Roy said of Chaput. “There are times the bail has to be in concert with what the crime is and the danger of the person. For me, personally, there is no time that is more important than now that we incarcerate, at least for the time being, a person who creates danger for children.”
Roy admits that ever since bail reform took place, the amount of bail issued in certain cases has been more lax.
The Merrimack Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Bureau began investigating Chaput in August for sexual assault allegations; Milford police had started investigating him earlier.
“Throughout the course of this investigation, it was determined that the suspect to this case, (Chaput), had sexual relations with a person under the age of 16 years. Additionally, Chaput obtained numerous sexually explicit images from a minor via electronic images,” a news release states.
He was arraigned on Thursday at Hillsborough County Superior Court South in Nashua. Aside from the personal recognizance bail, Chaput was ordered to have no contact with the victims in the case, as well as no unsupervised contact with any minors.
“Although there is a court order that says ‘no contact,’ we don’t stand in front of these people 24 hours a day,” said Roy, maintaining everything should be done to protect the victims in this case.
Last month, Conlon announced that he has formed several prosecution units to address specialized topics such as cyber crime and special victims.