Litchfield NH police chief accused of sexual harassment

The police chief in Litchfield has been arrested and charged with sexual harassment of a subordinate. Litchfield Police Chief Benjamin Sargent, 43, of Hudson, was charged with official oppression, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,200. In writing. statement, Attorney General John Formella said Sargent was accused of knowingly committing “an illegal act, which is purported to be an act of his office, with the purpose of benefiting himself or others or harming others, by sexually harassing a subordinate in an official violation.” In the police affidavit, ​Investigators in the attorney general’s office said Sargent is accused of making a series of inappropriate phone and text communications with officers at the Litchfield Police Department on Dec. 31, 2021, and Jan. 1, 2022. According to the affidavit, Sargent admitted to sharing with the officer that his wife left him because of his drinking, but he denied that his comments were romantic. gnificance.The calls and texts were made hours after Sargent was allegedly seen driving around drunk with a pistol in his mouth, according to the affidavit. Litchfield police went to Sargent’s home based on a report from the suicide prevention hotline and allegedly found him intoxicated, according to the affidavit. Sargent later said he called an Alcoholics Anonymous hotline but denied being suicidal or driving with a gun in his mouth, according to the affidavit. Sargent was released on personal recognizance bail and scheduled to be arraigned on January 12 in Merrimack. A formal criminal investigation was opened on Sargent in June, but the Attorney General’s office did not release all the details at that time about the nature of the investigations. Our research is complete at this point. So the only thing left for us is the court process,” said Fincham. The Litchfield city administrator told News 9 Thursday the city had no comment on Sargent’s arrest and the police department said no one was available to discuss the matter.

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The police chief in Litchfield has been arrested and charged with sexually harassing a subordinate.

Litchfield Police Chief Benjamin Sargent, 43, of Hudson, was charged with official oppression, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,200.

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In a written statement, Attorney General John Formella said Sargent was accused of knowingly committing “an illegal act, purported to be an act of his office, with the purpose of benefiting himself or others or harming others, by sexually harassing a subordinate in violation of official policy. “

In a police affidavit, investigators in the attorney general’s office said Sargent is accused of making a series of inappropriate phone and text communications with officers at the Litchfield Police Department on December 31, 2021 and January 1, 2022.

According to the affidavit, Sargent admitted to sharing with officers that his wife had left him because of drinking, but he denied that the comments had any romantic connotations.

The calls and texts were made hours after Sargent was allegedly seen driving drunk with a pistol in his mouth, according to the affidavit. Litchfield police went to Sargent’s home based on a report from the suicide prevention hotline and allegedly found him intoxicated, according to the affidavit.

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“He acted with the intent that he knew what he was doing,” said assistant attorney general Joe Fincham.

Sargent later said he called the Alcoholics Anonymous hotline but denied killing himself or driving with a gun in his mouth, according to the affidavit.

Sargent was released on personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 12 in Merrimack.

A formal criminal investigation was opened into Sargent in June, but the attorney general’s office did not release details at the time about the nature of the investigation.

Sargent went on leave in January, and the town’s Board of Selectmen extended that leave in June.

“Our investigation is over at this point. So the only thing left for us is the court process,” said Fincham.

The Litchfield city administrator told News 9 Thursday the city had no comment on Sargent’s arrest and the police department said no one was available to discuss the matter.

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