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New Hampshire Man Pleads Not Guilty to Voyeurism in Wilder

  • Robert Black. (Hartford Police Department photograph)

  • Robert Black appears in court for an arraignment on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, at Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Vt. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Robert Black appears in court for an arraignment on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, at Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Vt. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Monday, August 14, 2017

White River Junction — A 30-year-old New Hampshire man pleaded not guilty on Monday to nearly a dozen counts of voyeurism and a felony charge of lewd and lascivious conduct in connection with several alleged incidents at a Wilder home in April and May.

Robert Black, of Wolfeboro, N.H., is alleged to have trespassed on private property in the Hemlock Ridge neighborhood and peered into a woman’s bathroom window at least 11 times between April 13 and May 31. Black used to live nearby on Barrister Drive, according to a Hartford Police Department affidavit.

“(Black acknowledged) that he has an issue with voyeurism and explained that he went to counseling for it back in 2013,” Detective Kristinnah Adams wrote in the affidavit after interviewing Black. “Black described that he used his cellphone to video record and photograph (the woman) while she was inside her residence without her knowledge (and) advised that there may be pictures or videos of other women.”

In court on Monday, Black also answered to a misdemeanor stalking charge that alleges he repeatedly went to the woman’s Laurel Lane home to watch her in the bathroom and bedroom. The lewd conduct charge accuses him of masturbating while looking into her windows.

Black declined to comment as he left the courthouse. He didn’t speak during the hearing.

Windsor Superior Court Judge Theresa DiMauro released him on a $1,000 unsecured appearance bond, as well as several conditions, following his arraignment in Windsor Superior Court.

Deputy Windsor County State’s Attorney Karen Oelschlaeger sought to have Black held on $25,000 bail, while his public defender, Robert Lees, asked solely for conditions.

According to the affidavit, the alleged victim first contacted police in 2013 to report a man peering through her bathroom window while she was brushing her teeth, but no criminal charges came of that.

According to a statement the woman wrote, which is filed with the court, she tried her best to forget about it and move on, but her fears resurfaced in 2015 when she heard of another alleged sighting in the neighborhood. That prompted her to purchase a game camera, which is how police ended up bringing the case against Black, the affidavit states.

Due to the cold temperatures, she didn’t immediately use it, but when the weather warmed in 2016, she turned it on and found a man appeared in the footage twice that September, she wrote.

Instead of going to the police, she repositioned the device to get a better angle of the man and kept the camera rolling. 

When she checked the footage again in May of this year, she found that a man had peered into her windows on nearly a dozen occasions in April and May, at times drinking beer, smoking cigarettes and grabbing his crotch, according to the affidavit.

“I was horrified, felt extremely violated, disgusted and very frightened,” the woman wrote in the statement.

As a general practice, the Valley News doesn’t identify the victims of alleged sex crimes.

When examining the footage, police saw the man had a sweatshirt with a logo for a landscaping company that has branches in Woodstock and Enfield. A manger reviewed the footage and identified Black as the alleged suspect.

The manager said Black’s former addresses on file included Barrister Drive in March 2013, Route 4 in Enfield in November 2013 and Deer Run Road in South Royalton in March 2015. Police in those two towns said they never received any complaints about Black, who in June moved to the Lakes Region to work out of the company’s Meredith, N.H., office.

The woman who gave the police the recordings might not be the only alleged victim in the case.

In 2014 and 2015, at least two other women in the Hemlock Ridge neighborhood reported to police that they either heard or saw someone outside their homes, with one of the women reporting a man on a step ladder peering in her second-floor window, according to the affidavit.

The alleged incidents prompted the property management company that runs Hemlock Ridge, TPW Management, to issue a letter to residents in December 2015 about someone who had been “trespassing on private property near homes and peering into resident’s window,” the affidavit states.

“This detective can’t say with certainty that Black is the same suspect that was caught trespassing on (the women’s) neighbor’s private property and watching them through their windows, but the location and pattern is concerning,” Adams wrote, noting that the addresses of the complainants are separated by woods.

Black is currently residing with his mother, Nancy Black, who accompanied him in court on Monday, and father, Brian Black, a former Wolfeboro, N.H., police chief, the affidavit states.

Black has a prior criminal record in New Hampshire, Oelschlaeger said. In 2013, he also was charged with criminal trespassing and violation of privacy in the Granite State, but that case was “placed on file without a finding for a period of one year,” according to the affidavit.

In the interview with Adams, Black allegedly said that he never intended to harm “these women and that he never entered inside the residences.”

He told Adams that he returned to the alleged victim’s home in Wilder — after he had moved out of that neighborhood — because of the “excitement.” He also said he drinks alcohol and “loses his judgment.”

The investigation into the alleged incidents remains ongoing, and more charges are possible, the affidavit states.

Hartford police issued a news release about the case on Monday morning, and asked anyone with information to contact Adams at 802-295-9425.

Black is due back in the White River Junction courthouse on Sept. 26.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.