AG: No charges for former Bow Police chief who failed to file report of sex assault

  • Sgt. Margaret Lougee of Bow Police Department has been named the new chief of police.

Monitor staff
Published: 10/28/2021 5:51:44 PM

Former Bow Police Chief Margaret Lougee will face no charges for failing to document or investigate a reported sexual assault against a Bow teenager in 2016.

An investigation by the Attorney General’s Office found enough probable cause to bring one charge of violating the reporting requirement of the child protection act, which stipulates that law enforcement must immediately report all cases of sexual or physical harm against a minor, Attorney General John Formella announced Thursday.

However, the Attorney General also determined it would have “difficulty prevailing at trial. Since Lougee already resigned as the town’s police chief, the two sides reached an agreement instead, Formella said.

Lougee, who was the Bow High School’s resource officer when the sexual assault was first reported, will be forbidden from seeking recertification as a police officer until October 18, 2023. The Attorney General may bring charges against Lougee should she renege on her commitment and it will monitor Lougee’s adherence to the agreement, and keep its file open for two years. 

“Given this resolution, the Office of the Attorney General will take no further action at this time in this matter,” Formella wrote. 

Prior to her promotion as chief, Lougee served as school resource officer at Bow High School, where she received a report of sexual assault by a student. She did not document that report or any information into the department’s records, according to a 2020 audit by Municipal Resources, Inc. 

The sexual assault was allegedly carried out off of school grounds by a male student two years older than the female student. In 2016, the alleged victim stated she did not want to move forward with an investigation, so Lougee did not document the report or pursue a formal investigation, according to the audit. 

Lougee’s failure to file a report created difficulties for investigators when the alleged victim contacted the department in 2019 to begin a formal investigation, as officers were unable to locate a record of the original report. 

The alleged perpetrator in the case was the son of a former law enforcement officer. The boy’s father said Lougee told him the investigation “was not going anywhere,” according to the MRI report. 

In a letter to MRI in response to its investigation, Lougee confirmed she neglected to file a report in 2016, but disputed the father’s account. 

“I am embarrassed about this error and deeply apologize for this mistake,” she wrote. “This was an honest mistake made by me as a sergeant/(school resource officer), not as the chief of police or interim chief.”

According to the audit, members of the Bow Police Department “expressed disbelief” in Lougee’s inaction. The audit noted that the officers believed they would have been fired if they had done something similar. 

Senior Assistant Attorney Geoffrey Ward was unable to comment as to why the State would encounter difficulties prevailing in trial. 

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