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Jan 26, 2016 5:18 PM

UPDATE: Canterbury Police Chief John Laroche resigns amid sexual assault investigation

CANTERBURY - Police Chief John LaRoche has resigned amid a sexual assault investigation.

LaRoche submitted his letter of resignation to the Board of Selectmen who voted to accept the move Monday night.

LaRoche has been on administrative leave since August after he was charged with aggravated sexual assault.

He is alleged to have pressured a teenage girl, then 16, to perform oral sex on him and to engage in other sexual conduct when he was on duty and she was participating in a police explorer program under his supervision.

The alleged assaults took place in 1999 and 2000. A Merrimack County grand jury indicted LaRoche on seven counts of aggravated sexual assault in October. LaRoche has pleaded not guilty, arguing the acts were consensual.

The Board of Selectmen have approved an independent review into the department by the Merrimack County Sheriff's Department. Residents can address any concerns with the department by calling Captain Todd Corey at 783-0433 ext. 302.

Corey will present recommendations to the town within the next two months.

According to the town manager, the search for a new chief will begin immediately.

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