Northwood man found guilty in DV assault on Rochester woman

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Jeffrey Aniapam, right, and a member of his defense team on Monday at Strafford County Superior Court. (Rochester Voice photos)

DOVER - It took a jury just a few hours to find a Northwood man guilty of simple assault and criminal mischief on Monday in a bizarre domestic violence incident that occurred last July in Rochester.

The incident began with an invitation to his Rochester girlfriend to a meal at La Corona restaurant on July 26, 2017, where it was alleged Jeffrey Aniapam, 36, of 379 Bow Lake Road, Northwood, had intended to break up the on-again, off-again relationship of several years.

But during the meal, Assistant County Attorney Patrick Conroy said in closing arguments that the unnamed girlfriend became irate that he was breaking up with her, and asked for separate checks when she learned Aniapam had no money.

It was as tensions escalated prosecutors allege he spit in her face and left in a huff walking back to her home where he'd left his car.

As he reached her house, it was alleged Aniapam called her and told her he was going to go inside her house.

The girlfriend then left in her car and arrived as Aniapam was inside her residence.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed on many of the facts in the case, but disagreed what happened next.

The defense said Aniapam picked up a laptop that belonged to the girlfriend and used it as a shield as he left the house, while Conroy said he intended to steal it to hurt her after he'd been humiliated at La Corona for having no money to pay his check.

Conroy said as Aniapam left the house, still with the laptop in hand, he was grabbed from behind by the girlfriend who wanted to prevent him from taking her computer.

It was then the charges stated that Aniapam threw the laptop on the ground damaging it, then hit the girlfriend twice on the left ear.

Aniapam faced three DV simple assault charges and a single charge of criminal mischief for throwing the laptop on the ground.

When the jury returned with a verdict on Monday afternoon just a few hours after receiving instructions from Judge Mark E. Howard, they announced they had found him guilty of one DV simple assault and criminal mischief.

It was not immediately clear which of the three assault charges drew the guilty verdict or whether the criminal mischief charge was a Class B felony or a Class A misdemeanor.

Conroy was not immediately available for comment.

Aniapam will be allowed to remain on bail while awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for next month.

This story will be updated.

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