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Charges dropped in revenge porn case against Claremont man

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/13/2020 10:07:47 PM
Modified: 2/13/2020 10:07:36 PM

NEWPORT — Prosecutors have dropped all charges against a Claremont man accused of sharing sexually explicit images of a former girlfriend without her consent.

In a notice filed Monday, Sullivan County Deputy Attorney Justin Hersh cited issues communicating with the victim as a reason for dropping the two felony counts of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images against Chad Boardman, 43. The notice came after jury selection was completed in the case last week, and one day before Boardman’s trial was set to begin Tuesday.

“The victim has not been in contact with the state for several weeks,” Hersh wrote in the notice, adding that he has the right to reinstate charges against Boardman anytime within the statute of limitations. Class B felonies like the two counts Hersh was charged with have a six-year statute of limitations in New Hampshire.

Prosecutors planned to call the victim to testify at the trial this week, according to a witness list.

Boardman was indicted in March after a former girlfriend accused him of sending an explicit picture and a video of her to her housemate without her consent, according to an affidavit written by Claremont police Officer Michael Puksta.

The woman told police the images were meant to be private and she believed Boardman accessed them from her phone or her “Google cloud.”

When he was arrested, Boardman told police that he sent the images because he didn’t like his former girlfriend and because he wanted the housemate to “kick her out,” according to prosecutors.

Boardman has been out on personal recognizance bail since a bail hearing in March.

Last summer, his attorney Tony Hutchins, filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that the video and images constituted “speech” and that New Hampshire’s law against so-called “revenge porn” was in violation of Boardman’s free speech rights.

“(The) statute imposes a content-based restriction on speech,” Hutchins asserted.

Judge Brian Tucker denied the motion in December, writing that the law does not restrict speech, but it does prohibit attempts to harass or intimidate another person.

Hersh declined to comment on the case Thursday.

Anna Merriman can be reached at amerriman@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.




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