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Detective to remain free on bail pending trial

Union Leader Correspondent

December 30. 2013 8:53PM
George Wickson, a Plaistow police detective, is shown here testifying at a court hearing on Nov. 1. He is facing charges for allegedly threatening a man with a knife during an off-duty incident in May. JAMES A. KIMBLE 

BRENTWOOD — A Plaistow police detective placed on unpaid leave will remain free on bail while his assault trial is pending in superior court, a judge decided.

George Wickson, 40, was allowed to remain free on $10,000 personal recognizance bail but will have until Tuesday to turn himself in to be booked and processed at the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office.

Wickson is accused of pointing a knife at a 22-year-old man’s neck while off-duty in Newton on May 25.

Prosecutors say Wickson also groped a 21-year-old woman and threw a beer and lunged at another woman during the incident.

Wickson faces five charges, including a felony count of criminal threatening for the alleged knife-wielding incident.Judge Marguerite Wageling approved an agreement about Wickson’s bail.

Portsmouth defense lawyer Brian Lavallee disputed the state’s version of events Monday, saying his client adamantly denies the allegations.

“The number of charges isn’t what matters,” Lavallee said. “It’s the quality of the evidence that matters.”

Wageling ordered Wickson to not possess a firearm, or other dangerous weapon while awaiting trial.

Wickson must also refrain from any excessive use of alcohol and cannot have any contact with two people, who are only indentified by their initials, according to the judge’s order.

His next court hearing is March 11.

Few details about the incident have been released by prosecutors. The case was investigated by the New Hampshire State Police.

Court papers say Wickson grabbed the 21-year-old woman by the hair at one point, “attempted to kiss her” and grabbed her buttocks. Wickson threw the beer at a 30-year-old woman, and “then lunged towards (her) as if to hit her,” according to court records.

The Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office was called in to handle the case to avoid a conflict of interest with local prosecutors.

Wickson was placed on unpaid administrative leave following his indictments in superior court. He was also removed from the county sheriff’s drug task force.

The criminal threatening charge for allegedly threatening the man with a knife is a Class B felony punishable by up to 3½ to 7 years in prison and a $4,000 fine. The four misdemeanor charges are each punishable by up to a year in county jail and a $2,000 fine.

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