The Conway Daily Sun reported in Tuesday's edition that felony charges had to be dropped in a sex assault case, because the Carroll County Attorney's Office handled the case so poorly. Two charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault, simple assault and two counts of violation of a protective order were filed against the defendant, but a plea deal resulted in a one year suspended sentence for one count of violating a protective order . All the other charges were dropped.The victim appealed to the NH Attorney General who reviewed the case.
Geoff Ward, a prosecutor with the Attorney Generals Office was quoted as saying "What I learned in reviewing this case was that personnel at the county attorney's office, at the time, mishandled the matter."
County Attorney Thomas Dewhurst was elected in 2014 and his office has been hampered by high turnover to the extent that the NH Attorney General had to lend support to the county with temporary manpower int form of two prosecutors this past summer. At the time, the office was rumoured to be close to crisis mode. The office should have three full-time assistant county attorneys, but five had left or resigned by early last June.
Whether these latest issues are related to the county's ongoing financial issues and whether taxpayers will once again be on the hook for legal fees and potential litigation is not clear.