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Accuser tells jurors he was molested on Bow man’s family farm

  • Patrick Nylen (right) speaks with one of his lawyers during the opening of his sexual assault trial at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTERMonitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 11/19/2019 4:08:58 PM

The boy started working at Patrick Nylen’s family farm on Robinson Road in Bow at the age of 12 to earn some extra money.

He was paid $5 an hour under the table and knew Nylen only by “Rick.”

“From the moment I started working at the farm, I was uncomfortable being with Rick, around Rick, his mannerisms, his personality,” that boy, now a 22-year-old man told jurors Tuesday in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord. “He certainly felt predatory.”

The man recalled from the witness stand how Nylen frequently made sexual comments to him and the other boys who worked on the farm between 2010 and 2011. He alleged that Nylen objectified women, too.

“At first I was uncomfortable, and when it started to escalate into what it became, I was afraid to talk at all for fear of what people would think of me,” the man told jurors.

It was ultimately eight years before he told his story for the first time, prompting a police investigation that led to Nylen’s arrest in summer 2018.

This week, Nylen, 51, of Bow is standing trial in Concord on one count of felonious sexual assault and two misdemeanor counts of sexual assault. Nylen is accused of molesting the boy in the living room of his home and in a barn on the Nylen family farm, located just a few minutes away. At the time of the alleged offenses, Nylen was employed with the town’s public works department, where he worked for more than a decade before his arrest.

During opening statements of the trial Tuesday morning, attorneys on both sides asked jurors to listen closely to the evidence presented over the next few days before deciding who is truthful and who has the motive to lie.

While the defense attorney Jared Bedrick tried to cast doubt in jurors’ minds about the 22-year-old’s story of abuse as a child, Assistant Merrimack County Attorney Melinda Siranian told jurors to consider carefully the reasons why the boy waited to come forward until years later as an adult. She also directed jurors to Nylen’s statements to police, which will be shared over the course of the four-day trial by law enforcement officers who interviewed him.

“His statements at the time are telling of his motive to lie in this case,” Siranian said.

But Bedrick said it was the 22-year-old who lied in an act of desperation to save a crumbling relationship with a one-time girlfriend.

“The victim doesn’t call up the police one day and say, ‘I have a crime to report,’ ” Bedrick told jurors.

Rather, the man told his girlfriend by phone during a break up while he was living out of state and she was still in New Hampshire.

As the state’s first witness, the man explained his decision to disclose at that moment.

“We broke up that night, and for closure, I told her that if it was any explanation as to why I had issues trusting people or seeing the good in people, and then I told her what I told you,” the man said to Siranian during direct questioning.

He said he was going through a difficult period in his life and was haunted by the memories more than ever. He said he had considered self-harm and wanted to share that with his girlfriend but not because he was trying to save a broken relationship.

After his girlfriend found out, she called the man’s brother, and then the brothers both spoke to their father, who notified authorities.

The man, who lived out-of-state at the time, was interviewed by authorities in that jurisdiction, in addition to police from New Hampshire before Nylen’s arrest in mid-2018.

He disclosed that Nylen had touched him inappropriately on several occasions. He testified Tuesday that Nylen showed him pornographic films and magazines that he expected the young boys who worked on the farm to masturbate in his presence.

During his testimony, he recalled one specific ride he took with Nylen. They were headed to Nylen’s house, where the man said Nylen expected him to masturbate on the living room sofa while adult films played on the television.

“I was very uncomfortable in the truck,” the man said of that day years ago. “I had tried to voice how I was uncomfortable with the situation and how I didn’t want to do it, and Rick had told me that it’s okay and that everyone is a little bit gay and it’s normal to do.”

He said he felt “violated” and “scared” but that he didn’t know what to do and was too ashamed to ask for help.

By late 2011, after two summers on the job, he finally messaged Nylen one day from school and said he wouldn’t be showing up to work anymore. He said Nylen never responded.

As part of the sexual assault investigation, police attempted a one-party intercept phone call between the man and Nylen. However, as soon as the man identified himself, Nylen hung up.

Witness testimony in the case will continue over the next few days. The trial is scheduled to resume Wednesday at 10 a.m.

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