Man pleads not guilty to lewd conduct
KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- Police said they arrested a Main Street man after a woman accused him of drugging her and touching her while she slept.
William D. McLaughlin, 34, pleaded not guilty to a felony count of lewd and lascivious conduct Monday in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division. He was held on allegations of violating his probation, which he was placed on earlier this year after pleading guilty to a felony count of unlawful trespass. At the time of his latest arrest he was free on conditions he was placed under after pleading not guilty to a charge of simple assault.
Should McLaughlin be released on the probation complaint he would still have to post on $25,000 bail.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Detective Anthony Silvestro, on Thursday he spoke to an adult woman who said on Nov. 27 she went out with some friends to party, and one of the places they went to was a room at the Southgate Motel where McLaughlin was. She said they left, and while out went to a friends house. They left there, and because a number of them knew McLaughlin, they picked him up and went with him to the apartment. The woman said people were smoking marijuana at the motel and consuming alcohol at the apartment.
She said after McLaughlin kissed a woman at the apartment, another got upset and everyone left, eventually going to an apartment on Orchard Road. The woman who complained to police said it was there she began to feel sick. She told police that McLaughlin had made references to putting Ecstasy in his own drinks and said something about "dog food" which she said was slang for heroin. She said she suspected McLaughlin had placed something in her drink because of a white residue she had found in her cup.
She said she went to sleep and woke up to find her pants had been removed and McLaughlin touching her.
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