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Ex-Portsmouth school district worker sent back to jail after arrest on stalking charges

Union Leader Correspondent

April 25. 2013 10:12PM

BRENTWOOD - A former Portsmouth school department worker charged with attempting to sexually assault a 14-year-old girl was sent back to county jail on Thursday in the wake of his arrest last week on stalking charges.

Prosecutors sought to revoke bail for Kenneth Kimber, 34, alleging he had called his wife, Sandra Kent, nine times while being held at the Rockingham County jail between March 24 and April 8.

"Ms. Kent is a witness in this case and a rather important witness," Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway said during a bail hearing on Thursday.

Kimber is also being investigated by Portsmouth police for possibly having contact with other girls, and whether he committed witness tampering as a result of having contact with his wife, according to Conway.

He was first arrested February for having inappropriate contact with the girl over a computer, but Portsmouth police then added charges of attempted felonious sexual assault and indecent exposure weeks later.

Conway said Kent told police she suspected Kimber was having a relationship with a high-school-age girl, and later received Facebook messages from her sister indicating that her husband did have sexual relations with the girl.

Kimber allegedly began soliciting the girl between Feb. 3 and 9 through Facebook and sent her at least one sexually explicit photo of himself, police said.

At the time, he worked for the Portsmouth school district's information technology department and coached a boy's basketball team at Noble High School in Berwick, Maine. He has since been fired from both jobs.

Conway said Thursday that Kimber was well aware he was to have no contact with his wife. During one phone call he made from the jail, Kimber acknowledged he was to have no contact with his wife, according to Conway.

Defense lawyer Joseph Prieto said a family court order allowed Kimber to have contact with his wife, along with supervised visits with his 1-year-old son. Prieto argued that a state Supreme Court case suggested that Kimber's phone calls to his wife did not violate the conditions of his bail. The no-contact provisions would go into effect once Kimber was released from jail, Prieto argued.

Judge Marguerite Wageling told Kimber that she would make it "crystal clear" to him that he have no contact with the victim, or minors under the age of 18, but that he could have contact with his wife.

Wageling raised Kimber's bail to $25,000 cash, restoring it back to the amount that was set at prior to a bail hearing earlier this month. Kimber was not able to post that amount on Thursday and remained in custody.

Wageling left open the possibility for prosecutors to return to ask that bail be revoked if more evidence about Kimber not complying with court-ordered restrictions were brought forward. Kimber has yet to appear in 10th Circuit Court on the stalking charges.

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