Sep 14, 2015 9:44 PM
CANTERBURY - A N.H. Attorney General's office investigation is shedding more light on what the town of Canterbury knew about the sexual assault investigation involving their police chief.
Allegations against Canterbury police Chief John LaRoche say he had sexual relations with a minor as he mentored the woman when the two were part of the Boscawen Explorer program.
It took nearly nine months before LaRoche was placed on leave - at his request.
Boscawen police learned of the alleged sex assault from the woman on Sept. 11, 2014.
The N.H. Attorney General's office interviewed her later that month, then met with LaRoche on Nov. 19, 2014.
Two days later, he met with the Canterbury Board of Selectmen behind closed doors.
Finally in August 2015 - nine months later - Laroche asked for the leave of absence.
The town selectpersons met Monday, and the three played a big role in keeping the chief of police on active duty for an entire year.
“It was only an investigation," Selectman Bob Steenson, said. "It involved a complaint that was 15 years old. The chief had been employed by the town for a dozen years with no complaints.”
Not all the selectpersons were willing to share what they may, or may not have known, though.
“Our chairman makes public comments,” said George Glines when asked about the investigation.
Cheryl Gordon walked away from camera crews.
The Attorney General's findings show that Gordon knew before the rest of the group.
"Laroche thereupon contacted Cheryl Gordon, a selectperson," the report said. "Gordon agreed to come to the Canterbury safety complex to meet with us. Once she arrived, we explained that we were conducting a criminal investigation of a sexual assault allegation against Laroche by a former police explorer..."
"Laroche asked to speak with Gordon privately in another room to provide further detail. They spoke briefly, after which Gordon told us that she needed to speak with the other selectpersons to determine how the matter would be handled."
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