Police: Woman hosted underage drinking party, didn’t report assault

  • Jennifer Fanny —Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 8/20/2019 2:56:33 PM

A Penacook woman accused of failing to report the sexual assault of a 13-year-old at an underage drinking party she hosted is now facing criminal charges.

Jennifer Fanny, 35, who is a cafeteria worker at Rundlett Middle School, was arrested this past weekend on a warrant charging her with endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

According to court documents, Fanny knew about the sexual assault that occurred on the weekend of Nov. 24 but told the 18-year-old suspect, Taylor “TJ” Winter, to “keep it on the down low, not to tell anyone, and clear his name.”

New Hampshire law requires any person who has reason to suspect a child is being abused or neglected to report that suspicion immediately to the state’s Division for Children, Youth and Families. The agency received two reports of juveniles drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana at the apartment building at 24 Summer St. in Penacook, but neither came from Fanny, police said.

Winter has since been charged with felonious sexual assault and is out of jail on bail conditions. At the time of the report, he was living with Fanny at 24 Summer St. after experiencing a period of homelessness, witnesses told police.

As part of the investigation, Fanny was interviewed by police at the Concord School District’s administrative offices on Dec. 6. She denied at that time knowing anything about a sexual assault, telling police she kicked the 13-year-old out of her home at about 9 p.m. She said she did not provide alcohol to minors and that there was no marijuana at the party.

“Fanny continued to deny any knowledge about the sexual assault investigation, which is inconsistent with the information obtained in other interviews to include the suspect and the victim,” according to a sworn police affidavit prepared by Concord police Det. Benjamin Mitchell. “It appeared Fanny was trying to protect herself and the suspect, TJ Winter.”

Police allege Winter sexually assaulted the 13-year-old at an abandoned multi-unit home known as the “trap house” at 15 Community Drive, next door to Fanny’s apartment on Summer Street.

The 13-year-old said during an interview at the Merrimack County Advocacy Center that she had walked to 24 Summer St. on the night of Nov. 24 with a friend to attend a party. The pair spent time with several teenagers at the house and then decided to go to a vacant apartment next door with two boys, including Winter, according to court documents.

The girl said that once inside the Community Drive residence Winter pushed her up against a wall next to the stove and started touching her inappropriately, the affidavit says. She said he touched her without her consent and then led her downstairs to the basement where the sexual assault occurred.

When detectives interviewed Winter days later, he described what had occurred as “consensual statutory rape,” according to the affidavit. He said the girl told him she was 15 and that he “just let it happen.”

The legal age of consent in New Hampshire is 16.

Fanny is scheduled to appear in Concord’s district court at a later date.

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