Plymouth State student accused of sexual assault at Concord’s NHTI

  • Conner Welch is accused of raping a woman in Concord in April 2017. —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Plymouth State University student is accused of raping a young woman on the campus of NHTI in Concord.

Conner Welch, 22, of Hampton was on probation in an unrelated assault case at the time of the alleged offense. He is charged with one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault in connection with the April 5 incident. Prosecutors have released few details about the allegations against Welch, citing an ongoing investigation by New Hampshire State Police.

Assistant Merrimack County Attorney Ashlie Hooper said at Welch’s recent court appearance that communication between Welch and the woman began online. Hooper did not return a call Thursday seeking additional information.

An affidavit detailing the alleged sexual abuse at NHTI is under seal at the state’s request. Hooper wrote in her motion to seal that “Premature disclosure of the information contained in the affidavit could jeopardize or impair the integrity of the ongoing investigation in this case.”

Judge Diane Nicolosi ordered Welch held for lack of $5,000 bail following his arraignment and bail hearing Tuesday afternoon at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord.

Bail conditions prohibit Welch from being on the technical college’s property at 31 College Drive in Concord. He is also not allowed to have any contact with the alleged victim, an 18-year-old.

At Tuesday’s bail hearing, Nicolosi expressed concern about Welch’s prior criminal record. She denied the defense’s request to release him on personal recognizance, saying she believes Welch poses a serious threat to young women in the community and must be closely monitored.

A Rockingham County grand jury indicted Welch in March 2016 on four counts of felonious sexual assault. He was accused of having sexual intercourse and oral sex with a 13-year-old girl in Windham in May 2015. Welch ultimately pleaded guilty to lesser charges, two counts of misdemeanor simple assault, in that case. In exchange, prosecutors dropped all felony sexual assault charges against him.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)