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Dover man's defense in drugged sex assault case targets 3 women

BRENTWOOD - A man charged with allegedly drugging three women and sexually assaulting one of them at a Portsmouth apartment may get a chance to limit their testimony before a jury.

A judge has agreed to hold a hearing for Aaron Bonds, 43, of Dover on Thursday to determine whether the women could incriminate themselves if they testify against him at trial.Prosecutors objected to the hearing. Assistant County Attorney Brad Bolton argued that only the state should be able to call for such a hearing if a witness invokes their Fifth Amendment right.

Bonds is expected to go on trial in June on three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and dispensing a controlled drug for allegedly supplying the women with what they believed was cocaine.Bonds, who is being held at the Rockingham County jail, was convicted in another sexual assault case in 2003.

Portsmouth police say that Bonds met up with two of the women at a Portsmouth restaurant on the night of July 11. They met up with a third woman a short time later, and went to an apartment where one of the women lived, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors say Bonds either laced the cocaine or supplied a foreign substance to the women to incapacitate them. Bonds allegedly raped a 26-year-old woman while she was under the influence of an unknown drug and unable to speak or resist.All three women told police they snorted the substance, and became nauseous and unable to move. Defense lawyer Brian Lavallee suggested in court papers that only the women were found to be in possession of cocaine allegedly supplied by Bonds.Even if a judge decides the witnesses could implicate themselves in a crime, the prosecution could still offer them immunity.

Bonds could face up to 20 to 40 years in state prison on each of the sexual assault charges if he is convicted by a


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