Former preschool teacher faces charges for alleged sex solicitation of minor

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Gagne/Nashua PD

NASHUA, NH — A Manchester man, who once worked as a pre-school teacher, is being held without bail on charges he went to Nashua to meet up with a teenager for sex.

It turns out, however, that Robert Gagne, 46, of 164 Tarbell St., Manchester, had been communicating online for months with a Nashua police detective posing as a 15-year-old boy.

Gagne was arrested last week when he arrived in Nashua to meet up with the teen.  Officers pulled him over and arrested him on charges of certain uses of computer services prohibited and attempted felonious sexual assault.

When detectives searched his car, they recovered a condom, a sex toy, pepper spray and duct tape.

Gagne admitted to detectives that he went to Nashua to meet the 15-year-old he met online but got lost, had car troubles and so he decided to leave.  He also admitted to proposing to the 15-year-old that they engage in oral and anal sex but maintained he only went to Nashua on Jan. 3 to talk with him.

Gagne told investigators he also was talking online to a juvenile he believes lives in Canada.   Gagne refused to consent to a police search of his cellphone so detectives sought a search warrant for it.

The investigation began last August when Detective Adam Rayho created a profile of a 15-year-old boy on the online dating app Grindr in an attempt to interdict the sexual exploitation of children.

That night, he received a message from Gagne by phone and email.  Rayho immediately told him he was 15 years old.

The two continue to message each other on Grindr but by Aug. 30, they switched to WhatsApp.  Gagne made sexual overtures to the undercover officer, telling him he was horny and instructing him on how to masturbate and asking if he wanted to have sex.

Gagne told a bail commissioner he was “not in right mind, feeling suicidal,” according to court documents.

On June 1, 2018, Gagne was arrested for firing a gun at 3:40 a.m. in the parking lot at the McDonough School.   He was charged with reckless conduct.   Police recovered two guns from his vehicle, a 9 mm handgun and a Ruger .380.  At the time, he was a pre-school teacher at the Bakersville School.