LONDONDERRY, NH – A 19-year-old man police allege sexually assaulted a young woman was released on personal recognizance bail after a superior court judge called the allegations “very serious” during a video arraignment at Rockingham County Superior Court Thursday afternoon.
Serving a warrant out of Londonderry, police arrested Dylan Cote, 19, of Londonderry at the Zoo Health Club in Derry Wednesday evening. He was charged with four different forms of aggravated felonious sexual assault, each Class A felonies, and a sexual assault misdemeanor.
The felony charges each allege sexual penetration by element of surprise, sexual acts without consent, sexual assault with physical force, and sexual penetration while the victim was helpless to resist, respectively.
According to an affidavit written by Londonderry Police detectives, Cote allegedly assaulted a female acquaintance during a sleepover party at his Londonderry home on May 30. The victim told investigators the assault began while she was still asleep.
During the arraignment, Rockingham Assistant County Attorney Jill Cook requested the court place Cote under preventative detention because he’s a danger to others. Cook told Judge Andy Schulman that Cote was “very rough” with the alleged victim and that she told Cote many times he was hurting her.
Cook also said Cote has two protective orders against him from a previous case involving a different person, and a criminal stalking charge on his record. The alleged victim in this case has also filed for a restraining order.
Defense Attorney Deanna Campbell said a preventative detention order could result in Cote languishing in jail for months awaiting trial, which she argued is disproportionate to his limited criminal record.
Ultimately, Schulman ruled that Cote be released on personal recognizance bail on the condition that if he failed to comply with his bail terms, he would automatically be placed in preventative detention.
“We must be careful that we’re not using preventative detention as a means of punishment prior to the trial,” Schulman said.
He said the allegations are very serious, but the presumption of innocence and a minimum prior record outweigh the allegations.
“I think this is a case where you have to balance things out,” Schulman said.
Cote must not have any contact with the victim, must comply with any protective orders, cannot possess any firearms or drink alcohol to excess, according to the terms of his bail.
Londonderry Police Lt. Jason Breen said the investigation is ongoing.