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Prosecutor Drops Sex Assault Charges Against Newport Man

North Haverhill — Grafton County prosecutors have dropped charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault against a 56-year-old Newport sex offender because the alleged victim, who is developmentally disabled, is unable to effectively participate in the prosecution.

Charles E. Lancey III was indicted on two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault by a Grafton County grand jury in August. An indictment is not a finding of guilt. It is a tool for prosecutors to continue with criminal cases.

But the state dropped the charges on Jan. 3, saying that while the 18-year-old alleged victim “very likely” recalled the events that she spoke to investigators about months ago, she was unable now to describe the events “at any level” because of cognitive or emotional obstacles, or both, according to court documents.

“The state has an obligation to avoid pursuing prosecutions that it does not in good faith believe have a likelihood of resulting in convictions,” the state wrote in its notice to drop the charges against Lancey.

Grafton County Attorney Lara Saffo could not be reached for comment.

Lancey’s attorney, Jamie Brooks, declined to comment. Lancey could not be reached for comment.

Lancey, whose last known address is on Maple Street in Newport, was convicted of sexual assault in 2005, according to the New Hampshire Department of Safety Registry of Criminal Offenders.

As a general practice, the Valley News does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault. The alleged victim was known to Lancey.

The events allegedly occurred between December 2012 and May 2013 in Lebanon.

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.