Lawmaker sentenced in assault of teen

  • This booking photo released by the Portsmouth Police Department shows New Hampshire State Rep. Eric Schleien, R-Hudson, charged with sexually and physically assaulting a 16-year-old girl in 2016. (Portsmouth Police Department via AP)

Published: 11/9/2018 3:05:12 PM

A Hudson lawmaker who assaulted a 16-year-old girl was sentenced Friday to at least 30 days in jail.

Republican state Rep. Eric Schleien, 30, pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor simple assault charge. Prosecutors had agreed to a one-year sentence, with half of it suspended based on good behavior.

After a month in jail, the Hudson man will be able to serve the remainder of his term on home detention. Another simple assault charge and a sex assault charge were not prosecuted as part of the plea deal.

Schleien had denied the allegations.

He did not seek re-election to a third term. His tenure ends Dec. 4. Last month, Republican House Majority Leader Dick Hinch said Schleien should resign immediately, and should have done so long ago.

According to police documents, Schleien approached the teen at an Exeter cafe on July 20, 2016, and struck up a conversation after he noticed a political sticker on her laptop. She told police they exchanged phone numbers after he suggested he could introduce her to other politicians and help her network. She said she agreed to meet him two days later.

Schleien drove the girl to Portsmouth, she said, but instead of discussing politics, he scared her with sexually explicit talk, sucked on her fingers and groped her inner thigh.

Police said Schleien’s attorney provided a statement in which the lawmaker denied any unwanted sexual contact and said the teen told him, “I feel very safe around you.”

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