Details in sex abuse case out
Victim was in the dark on man’s past
ANTRIM — The family that housed registered sex offender Max Wilson in Antrim may have withheld information about Wilson’s past convictions from the alleged victim’s family, according to Merrimack County Attorney Catherine Ruffle.
Wilson, 69, of Antrim awaits trial for misdemeanor sexual assault charges out of Antrim, and has had two prior convictions for sexual assault-related cases in other states, Ruffle said.
Antrim police arrested Wilson on Jan. 30 at his residence on Concord Street and charged him with three misdemeanor counts of sexual assault, each of which represents separate incidents that took place in Antrim and Concord in early January involving a 14-year-old boy from Hopkinton. Wilson is also awaiting trial in Concord Superior Court for alleged sexual assaults that took place in Concord and Hopkinton, according to Concord police reports, involving the same juvenile. Det. Jason Lepine of the Antrim police said Monday that the boy from Hopkinton told his parents that Wilson had been “hugging him, kissing him and holding his hand.”
Wilson has previous sexual assault convictions in New York and Pennsylvania, and is a registered sex offender in New Hampshire and New York, Lepine said. Wilson is required to register as a sex offender with the Antrim police four times a year.
Ruffle said Wilson was staying with a family in Antrim and met the boy from Hopkinton through this family. The family was an acquaintance of the victim’s family, Ruffle said. The victim’s family did not know Wilson was a registered sex offender and, according to Concord arrest documents, Ruffle said the family withheld this information from the victim’s family, because they reportedly felt Wilson was wrongly convicted in the past of sexual assault.
Although a trial has yet to be scheduled, details about Wilson’s past show a trend in sexual assault crimes involving juvenile boys. Based on court documents, Ruffle confirmed that Wilson’s first conviction was in Washington, Penn., in 1981, when Wilson was working as the pastor of a church. Wilson met his first victim in his congregation, another juvenile boy, Ruffle said.
Ruffle also said that in New York in 2005 Wilson had befriended a 12-year-old boy, whose father had died. Wilson helped him with his homework, bought him things, and took him out to eat. Based on court documents in the 2005 case from Suffolk County, N.Y., Ruffle said Wilson took on a sort of parental role with the juvenile. Wilson was convicted of second-degree sexual contact with a person less than 14 years old in the 2005 case.
In the Antrim case, Wilson is accused of assaulting a 14-year-old boy from Hopkinton who Wilson was allegedly mentoring. The goal was to help the boy get better grades and be closer to God, Lepine said, so the family of the boy approached Wilson for help in guiding him.
Antrim police are looking at additional charges for Wilson that would be felonies, Lepine said. No felony charges have been brought forward yet, but Lepine said police may add a charge of “prohibition from childcare service of persons convicted of certain offenses.”
At press time Monday, Wilson was still incarcerated at the Hillsborough County House of Correction pending $50,000 cash bail.
Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.