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Former Portsmouth school worker sentenced for sexually assaulting student
Kenneth Kimber, 35, of Portsmouth was sentenced 3 to 8 years in state prison on Thursday for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. Kimber was a Portsmouth school employee at the time of his arrest. (James Kimble/Union Leader Correspondent)
Judge Marguerite Wageling told Kenneth Kimber, 35, of Portsmouth during his sentencing hearing Thursday in Rockingham County Superior Court that he was lucky to dodge a longer stretch in prison.
Kimber pleaded guilty on Oct. 17 to single counts of felonious sexual assault, indecent exposure and two counts of prohibited uses of a computer.
He began communicating with the girl through Facebook between Feb. 3 and Feb. 11, and sent the girl a picture of his genitals with an explicit message before picking her up and driving her to his apartment for sex, according to prosecutors.
Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway said that if Kimber had been convicted at trial, "the state would be asking for a lot more than three to 8 (years) stand committed."
Prosecutors negotiated a plea deal to spare the victim, who they say has been "affected tremendously" by Kimber's actions.
Kimber worked for the Portsmouth school district's information technology department and coached a boy's basketball team at Noble High School in Berwick, Maine, when he was arrested by Portsmouth police.
New Hampshire and Maine school officials promptly fired him after he was charged.
The girl's mother told Wageling during Thursday's hearing how Kimber's actions led her daughter to attempt suicide multiple times, and miss school because she was being harassed there.
Kimber could have faced up to 3 ½ to 7 years in prison on each of the charges had he been convicted at trial.
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