Sex offender accused of not registering

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BENNINGTON — A sex offender with local ties has denied charges that he failed to register his address with the state registry for the second time.

Jad M. Hoag, 39, was ordered held on $10,000 bail, with a $1,000 deposit required, at his arraignment on Friday afternoon.

Hoag pleaded not guilty in Vermont Superior Court Bennington Criminal Division to felony failure to register as a sex offender as a subsequent offense. In a separate case, he pleaded not guilty to felony impeding a public officer and unlawful trespass of an occupied residence, and misdemeanor resisting arrest and false information to police.

Officers responded to the Apple Valley Inn in Bennington the morning of May 23 after a woman reported a man entered her room, according to a Bennington police affidavit. The woman told police Hoag entered her room and laid on the bed without her permission and that he was under the influence of drugs. Hoag allegedly gave a different name to police and tried to pull away when an officer tried to place hand restraints on him.

When en route to the station, Hoag allegedly tried to break the rear passenger seat window of a cruiser, according to the affidavit. Hoag pulled away from an officer and struck his head on the stairs while being led to a padded holding cell. Hoag became "increasingly violent, attempting to kick officers" as they held him down and for 20 minutes, according to the affidavit.

He was ultimately released to the Bennington Rescue Squad and taken to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center for his injuries. Bennington police cited him to appear in court in June.

According to an affidavit in the separate case, Hoag is required to register an address change with the state Sex Offender Registry within three days. Hoag last provided the Vermont Sex Offender registry with his address on Route 7 on May 15. On Sept. 3, he allegedly reported he was staying at the Green Valley Motel in Williamstown, Mass.

Hoag's whereabouts were unknown for about 102 days, according to the affidavit.

Hoag was convicted in Chittenden County of felony lewd and lascivious conduct in 2012, according to court documents.

The failure to register charge carries a habitual offender enhancement because Hoag has been convicted of three felonies, meaning he could be sentenced to up to life in prison. Hoag received a two-to-three month sentence in July 2016 for failing to register. In September 2011, he was convicted of cultivating more than 25 marijuana plants and given a one-to-three year suspended sentence with 60 days to serve. Those convictions were in Chittenden County, according to court records.

Defense attorney Frederick Bragdon, representing Hoag at his arraignment, told the court his client said he had been hospitalized in Vermont and then in Albany, N.Y., where he was in a coma before being discharged to a nursing facility. The allegation came while he was in the hospital, Bragdon said.

Bragdon said Hoag was not a flight risk and had ties to Bennington. He noted he was released on a fugitive warrant from North Adams (Mass.) District Court and returned to Vermont on the same day. He asked that Hoag be released with conditions, including that he reside locally.

Deputy State's Attorney Alexander Burke said Hoag still had the responsibility to register a new address within the required time frame. Burke asked that Hoag be held without bail given his criminal record.

Judge David A. Howard said cash bail is necessary given Hoag has limited ties to Vermont and the penalty he faces. Howard said he wasn't aware of someone receiving the maximum life penalty for the registering charge when there was no new offense.

Hoag will return to court Dec. 4.

Reach staff writer Ed Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.

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