Grafton, N.H., Man Going to Prison for Sex Assault Against Minor

Steven P. Collins

Steven P. Collins

North Haverhill — A 39-year-old Grafton man will serve 10 to 20 years in the New Hampshire State Prison after a Grafton County Superior Court jury convicted him in October of aggravated felonious sexual assault and two counts of felonious sexual assault against a child.

Judge Timothy J. Vaughan on Monday sentenced Steven P. Collins to 10- to 20 years on the most serious charge, and gave him a concurrent 3½-to-7-year sentence on one of the felonious sexual assault charges.

The victim was a girl under the age of 16 and the crimes took place in Grafton between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2009, Grafton County Attorney Lara Saffo said Wednesday.

Vaughan also suspended a 3½-to-7-year sentence on the other felonious sexual assault charge for 20 years.

If imposed during that time, it would become a consecutive sentence against Collins, Saffo said.

The judge also required Collins to register with the state as a sex offender.

Retired Grafton Police Chief Merle Kenyon and former New Hampshire State Trooper Wayne Fortier — now an investigator for Saffo’s office in North Haverhill — were the lead investigators in the case, according to Saffo.

Assistant Grafton County Attorney Paul Fitzgerald was the prosecutor.

“Because the safety of children is of the utmost importance, we are pleased with the outcome, “ Saffo said. “Most of all, we were impressed with the courage shown by the victim throughout this process.”