Concord woman asks court to dismiss four charges in sex assault case

  • Kirstie Bean (right) sits with her attorney at Merrimack County Superior Court in May 17. Lawyers for Bean asked a judge this week to dismiss four of the two dozen charges against her, saying prosecutors failed to provide sufficient details of certain alleged acts. Monitor file

Monitor staff
Saturday, February 03, 2018

A former Sununu Youth Services Center counselor accused of sexually assaulting a teenager sentenced to the juvenile detention facility is asking a Merrimack County judge to dismiss four of the two dozen charges against her.

Kirstie Bean, 26, of Concord, who is charged with related crimes in four New Hampshire counties, is arguing, in part, that prosecutors failed to provide sufficient details in complaints of certain alleged acts to allow her to prepare for trial and ensure she will not be punished twice for the same conduct. Bean is seeking the dismissal of two counts of witness tampering and one count of sexual assault in Manchester, in addition to one count of hindering apprehension in Concord.

Prosecutors allege Bean knowingly harbored the teenager in Concord and that she did so to avoid apprehension by authorities. But Bean’s attorney, Cathy Green, argues the state failed to allege what crime it is that Bean was attempting to conceal.

“The state has merely set forth the statute without any factual allegations,” Green wrote of the hindering apprehension charge.

The majority of charges against Bean allege sex crimes involving the teenager. The defense has singled out one misdemeanor charge, which alleges that Bean allowed the teenager to touch her buttocks with his hands. The defense argues the state does not allege the act was “committed for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal,” as required by statute, and should be dismissed.

Additionally, two witness tampering charges allege near identical crimes in Manchester during the same 15-month period between August 2015 and November 2016. Both complaints accuse Bean of telling the teenager not to discuss what happened, but one specifically says “about our relationship.” To avoid the risk of being tried twice on the same charge, Bean is asking a judge to throw out the complaints or require prosecutors to provide further specifics.

Bean was first indicted in Merrimack County in spring 2017 on four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, as well as misdemeanor charges of false report to law enforcement and hindering apprehension or prosecution.

Authorities later brought new charges against Bean for similar alleged acts involving the same victim in Gorham, Laconia and Manchester. By agreement, the three cases never made it before separate grand juries in those jurisdictions; rather, Bean waived that right. The cases against her in Belknap, Coos, Hillsborough and Merrimack counties were consolidated into one case that will be heard by a Merrimack County Superior Court judge.

Prosecutors allege Bean used her position of authority as an employee of the youth detention center to coerce the teenager, who was detained there, to have sex with her, including at her Concord apartment. On at least one occasion, the boy was on furlough, meaning he had been granted temporary leave from the center.

Bean, who no longer works at the detention center, is out of jail on personal recognizance. She is not permitted to enter the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester or to have contact with any juveniles detained or formerly detained.

The case is scheduled for trial in early June in Concord.

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