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Sex offender released on bail

Last modified: 5/3/2012 12:00:00 AM
A Pittsfield sex offender recently arrested on new charges of raping a teenage girl was freed from jail yesterday after posting $50,000 bail.

Joshua Budgett, 38, of Tilton Hill Road was arrested last month on 10 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. The charges allege he repeatedly raped a teenage relative starting in 2009, when she was 14 years old, according to court documents.

Budgett intends 'to absolutely deny these allegations,' Andrew Winters, his attorney, said. He didn't comment further on Budgett's response to the allegations, other than to say 'our defense is that he didn't do it.'

Winters said he couldn't comment on Budgett's posting bail, which was set at $100,000 cash during an arraignment last month in Concord's district court but later reduced to $50,000 cash or corporate surety, after Budgett waived a probable cause hearing on the charges. He now faces indictment from a county grand jury.

Of the 10 charges, four allege Budgett knowingly engaged in a pattern of sexual penetration with the girl between September 2009 and December 2010, when she was 14 and 15 years old. The charges allege different forms of penetration.

The remaining six charges allege Budgett purposely engaged in sexual penetration with the girl when she was 16 and 17 years old. Five of the charges allege offenses committed during periods of time, while one alleges a specific incident on April 14 in Pittsfield.

Budgett was arrested April 17 following an investigation by the Pittsfield police, Chief Robert Wharem said yesterday. He did not elaborate on how the allegations came to light.

Budgett was previously convicted of two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault in Rockingham County Superior Court in 1994. The victim was under the age of 13, according to the state's sex offender registry.

At a February meeting of the Pittsfield School Board, Budgett's wife spoke against a policy preventing sex offenders from entering school grounds without written consent. She said her husband was a registered sex offender because of mistakes he made when he was 17, but she wanted him to be able to enter the school to support their children, according to the board's minutes.

(Maddie Hanna can be reached at 369-3321 or mhanna@cmonitor.com.)


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