'Sex assault case against City Councilor reopens as alleged victim comes forward

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Doug Lachance (Courtesy photo)

ROCHESTER - Accusations of sex abuse against a Rochester City Councilor from 14 years ago have resurfaced leading to a reopening of the case, according to the Strafford County Attorney's Office and Rochester Police.

The primary accuser, 37-year-old Andy Brooks of Colorado, who grew up in Rochester, told Foster's he is speaking out now because he says Lachance is seeking to become deputy mayor.

Strafford County Tom Velardi told The Rochester Voice today that the reason the case was dropped was because the main complainant, represented as Brooks in police documents from 2007, decided not to move forward with what would have likely been a long and difficult trial.

Now that Brooks has gone public, it's all back on the table, Velardi said today.

Rochester Police Capt. Todd Pinkham said today it was again an open investigation on their end, too.

The case was reopened again about a month ago after one of the victims reached out to speak with us again about the case," he said.

A deeply disturbing police affidavit from 2007 paints a picture of Lachance's East Rochester home as a haven for young boys in their teens where booze and grass were nearly always at hand.

The main hangout area for the young men and Lachance was in an upper loft area of Lachance's barn known as Neverland.

Neverland is also widely known as the private amusement park in California owned by the late Michael Jackson of the Jackson 5. Jackson was accused of sexual assault, but never indicted. A lawsuit over the alleged sex assault was settled out of court.

Lachance today said he would have no comment on the charges, which began after the New Hampshire Diocese reported that a parishioner of Holy Rosary Church said a member of their family (Brooks) had been compromised by Lachance during the years from 1999-2002.

According to a March 2007 affidavit written by Rochester Police Det. Steven Bourque, Brooks had told his mother that Lachance "provided him with alcohol, kissed him on the lips and professed his love to Brooks."

After talking to Brooks, Bourque reported in his affidavit that, "Brooks stated there were times where Lachance would provide him with alcohol, and that there were sexual encounters."

In June 2007 Rochester Police contacted the criminal investigation division at Fort Bragg, N.C.,where Brooks was stationed to ask them to assist with an interview regarding the charges.

During that interview, Brooks stated he met Lachance when he was 15 through the Holy Rosary Church where Lachance worked as a handyman.

On his 16th birthday he stated, "Lachance invited him over to his house to celebrate" and that during the event Lachance "provided him with Jack Daniels to drink, and that he also smoked weed with him."

During the interview at Fort Bragg, Brooks said that "he remembered not feeling very comfortable drinking and smoking weed with him because "he was the mayor (of Rochester).

Later in the evening Brooks said "Lachance asked him to sleep in his bed with him because there was no heat in the house. Brooks stated he agreed and fell asleep "with Lachance playing with his hair."

Brooks also recalled that several young men including teens and some in their early 20s came to be regulars at Neverland where they would sit around drinking, doing drugs and playing guitar."

Brooks told the Fort Bragg interviewer that most of this occurred in the spring of 2001.

He stated that one one particular night he also drank some cider which seemed awfully strong. "He stated he had two glasses one night and blacked out. He stated he woke up to Lachance 'open mouth kissing him,'" the affidavit says.

In another alleged incident, Brooks stated "that he was intoxicated in Lachance's bed. He stated that Lachance had his arm on his shoulder. Brooks brushed his arm away and told him no. He stated that Lachance then slid his arm down his side and he again brushed his arm away. He stated that Lachance then placed his hand on his penis and when Brooks went to brush it away, he held on for a second (estimated five seconds) then he was able to push his hand away."

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