BENNINGTON -- A North Bennington man is accused of lying while under oath about what he witnessed another man allegedly do with a woman.
Jason Pendlebury, 29, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to a felony count of false swearing. If convicted, the charge carries a sentence of no more than 15 years. Pendlebury was released on conditions.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Detective Anthony Silvestro, in October 2013 he investigated Anthony Kirkpatrick, 38, of North Adams, Mass., regarding allegations that he touched a woman in an unwelcome, sexual manner. Kirkpatrick was charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious conduct, and one count of stalking. That case is still pending.
Pendlebury was one of the people Silvestro interviewed. He said he saw Kirkpatrick put his hands down the back of the woman's pants, but that was all he witnessed.
The woman told him that Kirkpatrick had touched her in other places, and so Pendlebury told her to go to police.
In March of this year, Pendlebury gave a sworn statement as part of a deposition. This happened at the Public Defender's Office on Gage Street in the company of Deputy State's Attorney Christina Rainville and Public Defender Kate Lamson.
According to Silvestro, Pendlebury gave a different statement at the deposition than the one he gave at the interview. He said the woman had also touched Kirkpatrick on a number of occasions and that they would play around together in a sexual manner.
He said he did not think these details relevant during the first interview. He told the attorneys that he told Silvestro about the woman touching Kirkpatrick, however Silvestro writes this is not true.
Silvestro talked to Pendlebury in May of this year about the deposition and was told by him that what he said at the deposition were things he later learned from a neighbor. He said he told Lamson that he suffers from memory problems.
He told Silvestro that he has received letters from Kirkpatrick from prison, but nothing that would change his mind about anything.
Pendlebury appeared to give conflicting accounts about what he witnessed and what he was told.
According to Silvestro, Pendlebury made false statements during the deposition and knew they were false when he made them.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.