Man to plead guilty to groping women at Dartmouth, 12A stores

By JOHN LIPPMAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 01-18-2024 10:00 PM

NORTH HAVERHILL — An 18-year-old Piermont man who brazenly groped women in public last year will plead guilty and faces a 12-month jail sentence under a plea agreement struck between state prosecutors and his defense attorney.

William Menard will plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of simple assault and sexual assault in connection with attacks against women in Hanover and West Lebanon last winter, according to court documents.

The plea bargain encompasses overlapping charges against Menard in both Lebanon District Court and Grafton County Superior Court and could lead to an extended jail sentence if he violates any of the terms imposed as part of the agreement. Terms include counseling, restitution and no contact with the victims.

Under the plea deal, Menard avoids the most severe charge he faced of aggravated felonious sexual assault, which could have resulted in a 20-year sentence if convicted.

If convicted on the misdemeanor counts, he could receive up to a 12-month sentence at Grafton County House of Corrections, court documents show.

Neither Grafton County prosecutors nor Menard’s public defender attorney responded to messages seeking comment on Thursday.

The Piermont teenager was first charged in March 2023 with a misdemeanor count of simple assault when he allegedly grabbed the buttocks of a female student at Dartmouth College in January.

The student was one of four women on the campus who reported that a man had groped them that day.

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Then four weeks later, while out on bail, Menard engaged in forceful groping in back-to-back assaults in West Lebanon, first at the Walmart store and then 10 minutes later in the parking lot of Target, according to police.

In both cases, Menard is alleged to have followed the same script — approaching the women from behind, putting his arms around them and engaging in sexual gyrations before being shoved off and professing an apology by saying he thought they were someone else.

In the Target parking lot attack, Menard is alleged to have digitally penetrated the victim. It was that alleged assault that led to Menard being indicted on a charge of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

A plea and sentencing date has not yet been set for Menard in Grafton County Superior Court.

At the time of his arraignment in June, Menard was ordered by the court to wear a GPS device and remain at home except to report to his job at McDonald’s, to which he could only be transported by a parent, according to court documents.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.