Man could spend life in prison on sex assault charge

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BRATTLEBORO — If a judge accepts a plea agreement signed Dec. 5, a West Dover man could spend at least eight years and up to the rest of his life in prison

According to documents filed with Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division, Clifford Turpin, 76, pleaded guilty to three counts — aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault of a child entrusted to his care and aggravated assault.

Each of the charges comes with a minimum eight year sentence, up to life maximum. The three sentences will run concurrently.

Turpin was originally charged with 13 counts, including four of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child, two of sexual assault of a child younger than 16, three of repeated aggravated sexual assault, and showing indecent video material to a minor.

According to affidavits filed by Det. Rebecca Morris and Officer Richard Werner, Turpin came to the attention of the Dover Police Department after receiving a report from the Vermont Division of Children and Families.

During a number of interviews, police learned that Turpin had sexual relations with four minor boys over the course of several years. According to the documents, Turpin and his spouse had provided juvenile foster and respite care for the Northeastern Family Institute from 2005 to 2015. NFI contracts with the state to provide services to Vermont families whose children struggle with severe emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges.

Turpin has been held without bail in Southern State Correctional Facility since his arrest in May 2018. His sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

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