Judge dismisses NHTI sex assault case

  • Conner Welch is accused of raping a woman in Concord in April 2017.

Monitor staff
Friday, December 01, 2017

A Merrimack County judge has dismissed a felony sexual assault case against a former Plymouth State University student.

Conner Welch, 22, was accused of raping a young woman in April on the campus of NHTI in Concord. New Hampshire State Police filed a charge of aggravated felonious sexual assault against Welch this spring. That charge was recently dropped “for lack of prosecution,” according to court records.

Because the sexual assault charge was dismissed without prejudice, county prosecutors could choose to refile it at a later date.

Court documents filed in Merrimack County in August show local prosecutors were awaiting the outcome of a violation of probation case against Welch in Rockingham County Superior Court prior to proceeding with the sexual assault charge. However, the Rockingham County case is still pending.

The violation was filed against Welch in mid-May following his arrest by New Hampshire State Police, who investigated the reported sexual assault at NHTI. Welch was convicted of misdemeanor simple assault in the fall of 2016 in Rockingham County, and his arrest this spring violated the terms of his probation, the parole office said. Welch’s misdemeanor assault conviction stemmed from a felony sexual assault case brought by the Windham Police Department in May 2015.

Rockingham County Superior Court was scheduled to take up the probation violation case in June, but there have since been several postponements, in part, due to a change in defense counsel and because additional time was needed to gather evidence, including cellphone records, court records show. The hearing was last rescheduled from Friday to Feb. 21 in Brentwood.

Rockingham Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Haggar did not return a call seeking more information about the violation of the probation case.

Welch was studying at Plymouth State University, but a spokesman for the school said Thursday that Welch is no longer enrolled.

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