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Portsmouth man faces more sex assault charges

Union Leader Correspondent

July 24. 2013 9:27PM

BRENTWOOD — A Portsmouth man is facing more charges in connection an alleged sexual assault of a female neighbor who was developmentally disabled.

Paul Fierley, 51, was indicted on five counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault by a grand jury earlier this month in Rockingham County Superior Court, according to prosecutors.

The new indictments broadened the timeline in which the alleged assaults happened.

Fierley was initially accused of sexually assaulting the woman on Nov. 1, 2012, at the Feaster Apartments, where the two lived. He had faced two charges. But prosecutors now say in the latest set of indictments that the sex assaults spanned Nov. 1 to Nov. 22, 2012.

Each new charge is punishable by up to 10 to 20 years in state prison.

Fierley had pleaded not guilty to the initial set of charge, and remains at the Rockingham County jail on $25,000 bail.

Portsmouth police arrested Fierley in February after he left the state while under investigation.

The U.S. Marshals Service found Fierley in Canaan, Maine, and arrested him on a fugitive from justice warrant on Feb. 11.

Police said they were already familiar with Fierley from his interaction with another woman in the building. He has a misdemeanor simple assault conviction from Oct. 9, 2012, for kissing that woman, court records say.

Fierley was evicted in January from his apartment. He was kicked out of the building “as a result of his behavior” with other residents, according to a police affidavit.

The building where he and the woman in the latest case lived — in separate units — largely houses elderly residents and adults with disabilities.

Portsmouth police Det. Kristyn Bernier said in a sworn affidavit that Portsmouth police are investigating other allegations that Fierley “has victimized other vulnerable adults at his prior residence at 140 Court St.” But no further charges have been brought against him. Public defenders asked a judge to free Fierley on lower bail last month, saying that he had a short criminal record that included a criminal threatening conviction in 2007 and a simple assault conviction from last year.

A judge denied that request. Fierley is expected to go to trial the week of Oct. 28.

Crime Portsmouth

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