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Man accused of raping young girl nearly 30 years ago in Henniker

A 60-year-old Boscawen man has been accused of raping a young girl nearly 30 years ago in her one-bedroom Henniker home.

George Sartorelli Jr. was arrested last month by the Henniker police and charged with four counts of felonious aggravated sexual assault statutory rape and two counts of sexual assault. According to a police affidavit, the victim disclosed the alleged assaults during an interview in June for an unrelated case. She told officers that Sartorelli was a friend of her father’s and used to stay overnight in their house on Old Concord Road.

She said Sartorelli, whom she and siblings referred to as “Papa George,” would have her lie with him on their couch while he rubbed her breasts and slipped his hand into her panties, according to the affidavit.

The girl, who was under 13 and who was attending elementary school at the time of the alleged assaults – her date of birth is not included in the charges – later moved out of state to live with her mother but returned to New Hampshire her freshman year of high school, after which she and Sartorelli became reacquainted, she told detectives. She said she and Sartorelli had sex twice at her father’s new residence, a trailer on Western Avenue.

Sartorelli, who is free on bail and awaiting arraignment Tuesday in Hillsboro’s district court, denied the claims yesterday, saying in an interview that they only surfaced after he and the now-adult woman ended a fling in 2012.

“They’re untrue and unfounded,” he said. He countered that he was married and hadn’t yet met the alleged victim in 1986 and 1987, when the assaults reportedly took place.

According to the affidavit, however, Sartorelli admitted in a secretly recorded telephone call with the woman last summer that he used to direct the girl to sit on his lap and thought it fine to sleep with her when she was a child.

The woman “asked, ‘Why did you pick me?’ ‘Why did he not pick her younger sister . . . ?’ ” the affidavit states. “Sartorelli replied, she was so thin and good-looking and she had tiny t--s.”

Asked about the phone call, Sartorelli said his remarks had been misinterpreted by the police. He said he and the woman had ended a romantic relationship in 2012, after which he told her not to contact him.

Sartorelli said he served in the U.S. Marines from 1971 to 1974 and attended the Franklin Pierce Law Center briefly in the early 1980s, dropping out in 1982. Officials at Franklin Pierce said they have no record of Sartorelli attending the school.

He said he was living on medical disability for a variety of ailments, including degenerative hearing and eyesight.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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