Sentencing date set for man in bizarre kidnap case

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Thomas Minichiello after guilty verdict rendered last Monday. (WMUR image)

DOVER, N.H. - A prominent Massachusetts businessman and Lebanon summer resident found guilty a week ago in the bizarre kidnapping of a young Rochester woman will be sentenced in March when he'll faces up to seven years in a New Hampshire prison.

The jury took just a little over an hour last Monday to find Thomas Minichiello, 63, of 285 Main St., Groveland, Mass., guilty of kidnapping the young woman. Testimony revealed he lured her to his Dover motel room in September 2013 under the guise of a job interview for a phony exercise company, then forced her to perform several exercises while he measured her breathing, heart rate and blood pressure while touching her breasts and crotch area.

The defense argued Minichiello never sexually touched the woman, who had lived in downtown Dover but has since moved to Somersworth, and never held her against her will.

The prosecution alleged Minichiello locked the door with a padlock and had two syringes in plain view in an effort to intimidate the young woman and also threatened her and her children.

In January of last year Minichiello sold his Lebanon summer home on Spencer Lane to family members with no money changing hands, The Lebanon Voice has learned. The property and land is assessed at $192,000. Taxes paid on the waterfront property were about $3,000 in 2015. Real estate website estimates its current market value at around $210,000.

Strafford County Superior Court Judge Brian Tucker said prior to sentencing he would review a presentencing report that detailed Minichiello's personal and criminal records prior to pronouncing sentence.

In a taped interview with police in December 2014 Minichiello, who was arrested in a similar case involving a Massachusetts woman in 2008, admitted to his strange behavior, in part blaming it on the death of his daughter in a car crash some 11 years ago.

The sentencing is scheduled for March 28 at 1 p.m.

Minichiello remains free on $10,000 cash bail while he awaits sentencing. Additional bail provisions called for a GPS monitor and waiver of extradition.

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