Five indictments in sex assault case

A Bennington man accused of allegedly sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl was indicted by a grand jury last Thursday with five counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

The indictment was handed down in Hillsborough County Superior Court North, Manchester, Bennington Police Chief Steve Campbell said in an interview Monday. Mooney originally faced two felony charges, but three additional felony charges were added during his probable cause hearing, Campbell said. One of the charges is referred to as a “pattern” charge, which covers all the possible instances involving sexual assault. The charges represent multiple instances of sexual assault over a period of time. The charges are considered aggravated because the victim is under the age of 13.

Mooney is still being held at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections on $100,000 cash bail only, Campbell said. This bail amount increased from $50,000 to $100,000 at his probable cause hearing, which occurred on Jan. 31 at the 6th Circuit Court, Hillsborough.

Following the indictment, Campbell said, the case will now go to the county attorney’s office to prepare for trial.

The investigation into Mooney began when emergency staff at Monadnock Community Hospital contacted Bennington police on Jan. 22 with information regarding an alleged suspect in a sexual assault. Police arrested Mooney at his residence on Antrim Road the following day.

-by Lindsey Arceci

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