Former city councilor Lachance won't be prosecuted, county attorney says

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Doug Lachance (Courtesy photo)

ROCHESTER - The investigation into a 2007 sexual assault case on a minor against former city councilor Doug Lachance is over ... again.

Strafford County Attorney Tom Velardi told The Rochester Voice in an exclusive interview today that the 2020-21 investigation into the alleged 2007 sex assaults fell apart after the principal accuser said he could no longer verify what took place in the original case.

He said the reason was due to memory issues from alcoholism, Velardi said today.

This spring's revelations that the case was being investigated again gave rise to a flurry of calls for Lachance to resign from his City Council seat. A petition urging his ouster was led by fellow City Councilor Jeremy Hutchinson, who just weeks before the reopening was made public had proposed an ethics policy that could investigate past transgressions of city office holders.

The ethics commission is still moving forward toward possible adoption. It is currently with the codes committee.

Meanwhile, another alleged victim who was never named also come forward with specific charges, but none were actionable, Velardi said today.

With this knowledge Velardi made the decision to not press charges.

"It wouldn't be right to put the accusers through a trial under those circumstances, or Mr. Lachance," Velardi said.

City Councilor and mayoral hopeful Palana Hunt-Hawkins, who was one of the first to call for Lachance to step down from his City Council seat in April after allegations first surfaced, said today she would have "no further comment on Doug."

The Rochester Voice also tried to reach out to Rochester Mayor Elaine Lauterborn, who was not immediately available.

Lachance, 57, a Realtor and business owner, officially resigned his City Council seat on April 14 about a month after police reopened the sexual assault investigation from 2007 that involved a 16-year-old boy.
Lachance has denied the allegations and did so again in his resignation letter.
In a 2007 police affidavit, Andy Brooks, 37, of Colorado, who grew up in Rochester, alleges Lachance made inappropriate sexual advances to him when Brooks was a teenager.
Brooks told investigators in 2007 that most of the alleged abuse occurred in the spring of 2001 when Lachance was mayor.
The 2007 case fizzled after the main complainant - identified as Brooks in a police affidavit - decided not to move forward with the charges.

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