KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- A Shaftsbury man is being accused of groping a woman in his home.
John A. Thompson, 73, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division to a felony count of lewd and lascivious conduct. He was released on conditions that he not have contact with the woman he is accused of touching and stay 500 feet from her home.
Judge Katherine Hayes said she would also order a competency evaluation for Thompson.
According to Trooper Todd Wilkins, of the Vermont State Police, on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. he responded to a home in Shaftsbury. A woman said Thompson had asked her to come inside his home, then touched her inappropriately.
Police said the woman and Thompson know each other.
She told them that when she went inside, Thompson asked her about her shirt, then pushed her against a sink and grabbed her. She said she told him no, but he touched her further, in another area of her body. All the touching occurred over her clothes, she told police, adding that she was able to push Thompson off her and leave.
She said Thompson had asked her in the past to take a nap with him. She told police she was under the impression he has mental issues.
Wilkins wrote that he spoke to Thompson in his home, and Thompson admitted to asking the woman inside then touching her. He said he was told no by her twice and denied forcing himself on her. He said he did touch her on one portion of her body, denied another.