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RINDGE

Sexual assault case is dropped

Trial of air marshal was set for Sept. 18

KEENE — A case charging George Gridley of Rindge with aggravated felonious sexual assault was dismissed on Sept. 18, with prejudice, so the case cannot be brought back to trial, according to Assistant Cheshire County Attorney Keith Clouatre.

Police arrested Gridley in June 2012 after an alleged victim came forward reporting Gridley had forced her to have sexual contact with him between May 1 and Oct. 31, 2010, in Rindge. Clouatre said during Gridley’s bail hearing in June 2012 that Gridley threatened the victim and said he would kill her if she told anyone. For this reason and the safety of the victim, the indictment issued by a Cheshire County Grand Jury on May 29 charging Gridley with sexual assault was sealed until June 8, 2012.

Gridley’s attorney, Ryan Snow, said in June 2012 at Gridley’s bail hearing that Gridley saw the victim a handful of times, but he did not have any record of being alone with her during that time.

In an interview Wednesday, Clouatre said the case was dismissed with prejudice because of how long Gridley’s case was pending and the short notice from the alleged victim who decided against testifying. The trial was scheduled to begin Sept. 18. Clouatre said the alleged victim notified the court on Sept. 17, late at night, that she was unable to go forward.

“We’re not going to force a victim in this type of case to testify if she can’t do it,” Clouatre said.

At the time of Gridley’s arrest in June 2012, he was on administrative leave from his position as an air marshal for the Federal Air Marshal Service, a job he began in 2002. It is uncertain if he will return to that job. Clouatre said Wednesday that the Federal Air Marshal Service was notified of Gridley’s arrest. “I don’t know what they are going to do, though,” Clouatre said.

The Ledger-Transcript contacted the Federal Air Marshal Service on Wednesday, but did not receive comment by press time.

In an interview Wednesday, Hindsdale Police Chief Todd Faulkner said the Hindsdale police took over the investigation of the case, because of a conflict with the agency initially involved with the investigation.

Gridley was a Rindge resident at the time of his arrest and, according to Chief Frank Morrill of the Rindge Police Department, Rindge police were involved with this case before Hinsdale took it over.

Morrill declined to comment further.

Lindsey Arceci can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 232, or larceci@ledgertranscript.com.

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