Victim in Twin State kidnapping case speaks out

Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 05, 2019

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The 23-year-old New Hampshire woman who police say was kidnapped in Manchester and raped in White River Junction in January has decided to go public with her identity, saying she has “nothing to hide from or be ashamed of.”

Celia Roessler, a Merrimack County resident, said she and her 4-year-old son will “embrace the challenges” they have been through and grow stronger from them, according to a statement issued with the lawsuit she filed on Monday against the state of Vermont and Valley Vista, the substance abuse treatment facility Everett Simpson left the day before the alleged incidents.

“The past couple of months have not been easy, but the most important thing is we made it out alive, and my son was not physically harmed,” Roessler said in the statement. “Ultimately, I have decided to speak out today because I have nothing to hide from or be ashamed of.”

Roessler said some of her friends and family have queried her about whether she and her son were the two allegedly kidnapped by Simpson outside of the Mall of New Hampshire on Jan. 5 and brought to Vermont, where Simpson is accused of raping her.

In her statement, she thanked her friends and family for their support as well as complete strangers who have expressed their care and concern for her and her son’s well-being.

“It is important to me and our family that you all know how much we appreciate your support, and that you have made us even stronger in our journey ahead,” she said.

Roessler on Monday sued the state of Vermont and Valley Vista, claiming they negligently responded to news that Simpson had walked away from the facility and that led to the kidnapping and rape.

In a statement, officials from the Vermont Attorney General’s office said their sympathies went out to the “plaintiff and her family who were victims of a heinous crime.” It said officials were analyzing the claims in her lawsuit, the Associated Press reported.

Valley Vista has not yet responded to the 39-page lawsuit filed in Chittenden Superior Court in Burlington.

By filing suit against those agencies, Roessler said she hopes she can prevent future abuse to other women.

“(I) hope something good can come of this lawsuit so that something like this never happens again,” she wrote. “I was raised to make the best of any situation and that’s exactly what we will continue to do.”

As a general practice, the Valley News doesn’t identify the victims of sex crimes. But Roessler, on her own accord, decided to speak out.

Simpson is facing kidnapping charges in federal court and sex assault charges in Windsor County. He has pleaded not guilty to his federal charges and has yet to be arraigned in state court.

He remains held on bail.

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