Former Raymond man faces more rape charges
BRENTWOOD - A former Raymond man who was briefly freed from serving a state prison sentence in a 1998 rape case is headed back to court on Monday to go on trial for allegedly raping a second young girl.
Patrick Eschenbrenner, 51, faces six counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault for allegedly abusing a girl beginning in 2002 when she was 7 years old.
Prosecutors say Eschenbrenner continued to sexually assault the girl until 2007.
Eschenbrenner had been convicted by a Rockingham County jury in 2008 of raping an 8-year-old girl a decade earlier.
He served roughly three years in state prison until a judge overturned his conviction in 2011.
While free awaiting a new trial, a second victim stepped forward, telling Raymond police she allegedly endured years of sexual abuse by Eschenbrenner.
An investigation into that case resulted in Eschenbrenner being arrested again in December 2011 while he was living in Glenburn, Maine.
The state Supreme Court decided in February that Eschenbrenner did not deserve a new trial in the first case, sending him back to state prison to serve 20 to 40 years behind bars.
County prosecutors waited for the high court's decision before moving ahead with a trial in the second case.
Eschenbrenner was also indicted on a single count of witness tampering.
Prosecutors allege that Eschenbrenner wrote to the victim following his arrest in December 2011, asking her to not appear in court to testify.
He has been held at the Rockingham County jail since his arrest.
Chief Justice Tina Nadeau decided in July 2011 that Eschenbrenner's conviction on three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault had to be upended because of testimony given by two Raymond police officers.
She concluded that the officers improperly conveyed to the jury that they believed the victim's allegations of sexual abuse.
After Nadeau's decision, Assistant County Attorney Jerome Blanchard convinced the state Attorney General's Office to appeal her ruling.
Eschenbrenner faces up to 10 to 20 years in state prison on each of the sex assault charges if he is convicted by a jury.