July 24. 2013 9:27PM

Plaistow lawyer faces charges related to Kingston boating crash death

Union Leader Correspondent

BRENTWOOD — A Plaistow lawyer has been charged with a pair of misdemeanors for allegedly crashing into another boat and killing 54-year-old Eric Eskeland, of Merrimack last May.

Lawrence Buswell Jr., 52, is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 1 in Rockingham Superior Court on single counts of vehicular assault and careless and negligent operation of boats for killing Eskeland and injuring five other passengers.

Buswell was piloting a 20-foot Correct Craft powerboat “at a rate of speed which prohibited him from being able to observe a boat, specifically a Sea Ray, directly in front of him,” the misdemeanor complaint says.

Prosecutors have not said how fast Buswell was traveling. The crash happened at 11:27 p.m. May 26, 2012, on Country Pond in Kingston, and set off an investigation by the New Hampshire Marine Patrol.

The two charges are expected to be followed by felony indictments for causing Eskeland’s death, according to a notice filed by prosecutors.

Buswell is also awaiting possible indictment in connection with charges that he allegedly raped a 15-year-old boy between July and August 2011 in a boat on the same lake.

The boy told Kingston police that Buswell gave him two shots of Smirnoff Sour Apple Vodka and then took him out on his boat to go swimming. Buswell faces two counts of felonious sexual assault, three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault and a single count of prohibited sales in that case.

He remains free on $50,000 personal recognizance bail following his arraignment in that case.

County prosecutors said that they filed misdemeanors separately in the boating case in May because the statute of limitations were about to expire.

Assistant County Attorney Ben LeDuc said in the court notice that prosecutors anticipate seeking felony charges against Buswell in the boating case, “which will later be joined or consolidated with an accompanying felony case.”

The pair of misdemeanors is punishable by up to a year in county jail and a $2,000 fine.

But Buswell could face state prison time if a grand jury returns a negligent homicide charge against him. The sexual assault charges are also punishable by up to 3½ to 7 years in state prison. A judge ordered the long-time lawyer to have no contact with any person under 16 years of age, including the teenage boy he allegedly assaulted. Buswell also signed a waiver of extradition.