Police: Sex offender has history of staking out Concord businesses

Monitor staff
Published: 8/9/2018 7:26:21 PM

A Concord convicted sex offender with a history of staking out Fort Eddy Road businesses and touching himself is being held on $25,000 cash-only bail after his most recent arrest.

Rob Powers, 56 of Concord has been arrested and found guilty multiple times of indecent exposure, lewdness and sexual assault in New Hampshire, with three of the recent incidents taking place within a quarter-mile of each other in the last 12 years.

In the most recent incidents, Powers has followed a similar pattern of arranging himself around the businesses in order to observe females while touching himself, according to court records. Currently, he is facing a felony count of indecent exposure and lewdness and a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct in connection with an incident on July 29.

On that day, Powers is alleged to have entered Panera Bread on Fort Eddy Road around 1 p.m., scanned the room and then positioned himself near the back wall with an overarching view of the dining room, according to an affidavit written by Concord police Officer Matthew Doyon.

Powers was not unfamiliar to Panera staff, Doyon wrote; an employee told him “Powers is always at Panera” and that they knew he was a sex offender.

When two adult women and two young girls entered and seated themselves, “the male stood up and walked to the table next to them ... and took a seat,” Doyon wrote.

During that time, Powers read a newspaper and occasionally moved his hand to his lap, and also “appeared to grab himself,” Doyon wrote. He left after one of the women contacted the manager and all four females moved to the other side of the restaurant.

Doyon later met Powers at the Friendly Kitchen. When questioned about the events, Powers’s hands “began to tremble as he spoke with me,” Doyon alleged.

Across the street and eight years ago, Powers was engaged in a similar pattern of behavior in what used to be Borders, now Books-A-Million, according to an affidavit written by Concord police Officer Joshua Levasseur.

On May 22, 2010, Powers was seen in Borders cafe positioning himself in front of women with a magazine on his lap. A manager told Levasseur that Powers changed his seat often and was “holding the magazine like he was reading it, but his eyes were starring (sic) over the top of the magazine watching the women.”

A female Borders employee in the cafe that day also said Powers sat next to her and “had an obvious erection” that he kept touching, the manager told Levasseur.

The next day, that same manager said Powers returned to the cafe and repeated the behavior for about 20 minutes. “ ‘His hands kept ending up under the magazine,’ ” the manager said, according to police documents, and at one point the manager saw Powers touch himself.

“ ‘It was not a situation of his hand brushing against it,’ ” Levasseur was told by the manager, “ ‘he was squeezing it like a tea bag!’ ”

Powers would ultimately be charged with indecent exposure for his behavior at Borders. He was also convicted of a similar charge in 2006. His extensive criminal history in New Hampshire also includes an aggravated felonious sexual assault conviction in Belknap County in 1994. He was found guilty of sexually assaulting a child under the age of 11 in that county.

After waiving his arraignment Thursday, Powers was placed on $25,000 cash-only bail. If he were to post, he would be banned from the Fort Eddy Panera.

Powers is projected to be indicted in November.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)

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