Brattleboro man gets 5 to 12 years
According to the Keene Sentinel, Stephen G. Severance, 49, appeared Friday in Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene to plead guilty to two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault.
The charges alleged that Severance had sex with the girl, whom he knew, in Keene in December 2013 and March 2014.
They qualify as aggravated felonious sexual assault because of the victim's age and the way Severance knew her, according to state law.
The Sentinel reported Sarah Hoskins, the county's victim and witness coordinator, read a letter on behalf of the victim, who described Severance's "grooming" of her before the assaults, and his subsequent behavior. She said he gave her gifts to buy her silence and left a note on her car when it was parked at school.
The victim, now 20, said she suffers lasting psychological damage, including trust issues.
"I will never get those years back," she said.
As part of the plea deal, reported the Sentinel, prosecutors dropped several charges containing more serious allegations. In February 2017, grand jurors indicted Severance on six counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and one count of possession of child sexual abuse images.
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