St. Paul’s grad, 19, guilty of assault for pressing hot lamp against female student’s leg

Last modified: 8/19/2015 12:35:25 AM
A 19-year-old St. Paul’s School graduate has been found guilty of assaulting his former girlfriend earlier this year, but he will avoid jail time.

Ronald “Hopper” Hillegass pleaded no contest Monday in Concord’s district court to violation-level simple assault. He had initially been charged with four misdemeanors, including domestic violence, and a trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday. Under an agreement with city prosecutors, he was fined $500 and ordered to tour the Merrimack County jail. A violation is a non-criminal offense in New Hampshire.

Hillegass, a Connecticut native, graduated this spring and had planned to attend the University of Pennsylvania this fall. An accomplished student-athlete, he had reportedly been recruited to the college’s rowing team. Whether his plea will affect his enrollment is not yet clear.

The incident occurred after a school dance in January. The victim, a then-17-year-old fellow student, received second-degree burns after Hillegass allegedly pressed a hot lamp against her leg.

Hillegass’s arrest came less than a year after another graduating senior, Owen Labrie, was charged with raping a 15-year-old underclassman two days before his graduation.

Hillegass did not attend the elite Concord boarding school for most of the spring semester and has been ordered not to contact the victim for three years.

City prosecutor Tracy Connolly could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.



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



Note: This story has been corrected to reflect Hillegass pleaded no contest to the charges.




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