Man accused of groping women at college, in store parking lots now faces felony

William Menard (Lebanon Police photo)

William Menard (Lebanon Police photo)

By JOHN LIPPMAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 06-15-2023 5:22 PM

NORTH HAVERHILL — A Piermont man who is alleged to have gone on public groping sprees in Hanover and West Lebanon earlier this year now faces felony criminal charges in connection with one of the alleged attacks.

William Menard, 18, was indicted by a Grafton County grand jury last month and charged with aggravated felonious sexual assault, a felony, plus two misdemeanor counts in connection with an attack on a 28-year old woman in the parking lot of Target in West Lebanon in February, according to court documents.

The indictment, dated May 19, describes a more violent sexual assault than what was initially alleged in the misdemeanor-level charges filed against Menard earlier this spring in Lebanon District Court.

The more serious charges closely comport with the woman’s description of the Feb. 20, 2023, incident, as reported by the Valley News in April.

Menard, who is scheduled to be arraigned on the felony charge in Grafton County Superior Court on June 20, pleaded not guilty to the initial misdemeanor charges filed in Lebanon District Court and was released on personal recognizance bail, though he is required to wear a GPS monitoring device, according to the Grafton County House of Corrections.

Menard’s public defender attorney did not respond to an email for comment on Thursday.

The Piermont teenager was first charged in March with a misdemeanor count of simple assault. On Jan. 24, on his first day as a temporary employee at Dartmouth College, Menard allegedly grabbed the buttocks of a female student on Massachusetts Row in Hanover. The student was one of four women on the campus who reported being groped that day.

Just four weeks later, Menard is alleged to have engaged in forceful groping in back-to-back assaults in West Lebanon, first inside the Walmart store and then a short while later in the parking of Target. The victims previously described the assaults in interviews with the Valley News.

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The felony charge against Menard relates to the alleged assault at Target, which the indictment describes as involving “sexual penetration” after Menard forced his hand down the front of the woman’s pants.

(The complaints filed in Lebanon District Court confused — perhaps due to the two victims sharing the same first name — the location of the victims, placing the woman who was assaulted at Target at Walmart and the woman who was assaulted at Walmart at Target, court documents show).

According to the Target parking lot victim, Menard approached her from behind when she was loading shopping bags into her car and grabbed her buttocks and put his hand down the front of her leggings. She spun around and shoved him away and he scurried off.

Two teenage witnesses took it upon themselves to follow the vehicle in which the perpetrator left the scene and reported its license plate number to police, the victim said. Police said it was the teens’ tip that led them ultimately to arrest Menard.

A conviction of aggravated felonious sexual assault carries a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years and includes mandatory registration as a sex offender.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.