White River Junction Man Accused of Sexual Assault at Kilton Library

  • Tyler M. Benson

Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, August 24, 2017

North Haverhill — A 19-year-old White River Junction man has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a teenage girl inside the Kilton Public Library last week.

Tyler M. Benson, who currently is residing at the Shady Lawn Motel, allegedly forced himself on the young teen girl inside the bathroom and choked her while sexually assaulting her, according to an affidavit filed in Grafton Superior Court in North Haverhill.

Benson disputes the charges, and entered not guilty pleas to multiple felonies — aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, second-degree assault related to strangulation and criminal restraint — during his arraignment last Friday, according to court records.

A judge initially held Benson on $30,000 bail, but later reduced it to $5,000 cash, which he posted on Tuesday. He remains free on conditions.

The incident unfolded around 7:30 p.m. last Thursday, when someone called police to report “unruly juveniles” inside the Kilton Library, Lebanon police said in a statement.

When officers arrived, they checked the last place the teens were seen, but found no one in that area. The man who called police then knocked on the bathroom door while an officer spoke with a another juvenile male outside, according to the Lebanon Police Department affidavit written by Officer Daniel Gaspard.

The person inside the bathroom responded with “just a minute” several times, before an officer insisted that the individual come out. When the door opened, Benson and a girl, who is known to him, emerged.

When asked for their ages, both initially lied, the affidavit states. Benson allegedly told police he was 15.

Benson allegedly admitted to “putting his hand down (the girl’s) pants,” according to the affidavit.

When the girl told Benson to stop, he allegedly choked her so she couldn’t speak, the affidavit states.

She said when she tried to unlock the bathroom door to leave, Benson put his hands on her mouth and throat and “pressed harder and harder,” the affidavit states.

“I gave up trying to get out cause it hurt too much,” the girl told police.

Benson then proceeded to pull the girl’s shorts down and assault her.

The girl allegedly had a red mark on the side of her neck where she had been grabbed, the affidavit states.

When questioned by police about whether he choked the girl, Benson said he didn’t, “but he did hug her.”

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

A message left for Benson’s attorney, Adam Hescock, wasn’t returned by deadline.

Benson next will appear in the North Haverhill Courthouse on Oct. 16 for a dispositional conference.

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