Man convicted of sexually assaulting teen
By Patrick McArdle
BENNINGTON — A jury convicted a local man on Wednesday on six charges, including three felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and one felony count of sexual assault with no consent, after a two-day trial.
Jay C. Allard, 55, of Bennington, was also convicted in Bennington criminal court on one misdemeanor count each of providing alcohol to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, based on an accusation that Allard had provided a 15-year-old girl with marijuana.
Judge Cortland Corsones ordered the Vermont Department of Corrections to prepare a psychosexual evaluation of Allard before his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.
The charges of lewd and lascivious conduct are each punishable by two to 15 years in prison but the charge of sexual assault carries a three year mandatory minimum penalty and a maximum term of life in prison.
In an affidavit, Officer Lawrence Cole, of the Bennington Police Department, said he began investigating the case in April 2011, after getting a report from a caseworker at United Counseling Service about a girl who said she had been touched by Allard.
Cole and Adam Perkins, an investigator with the Vermont Department of Children and Families, met with the girl in May 2011. She told Cole and Perkins that she had gone to Allard’s home many times and he had given her marijuana and alcohol although he knew she was 15 at the time.
The girl, who said she met Allard because he was friends with the parents of her ex-boyfriend, said over time he began making sexually suggestive comments and touching her.
She told Cole and Perkins that he had taught her some exercises and touched her while she was performing them.
Cole said he asked the girl why she would return to Allard’s home if he was making unwanted sexual advances.
She said that he would promise to stop and would back off for a time but would eventually return to touching her.
She also said she returned because she wanted the marijuana.
According to the affidavit, Cole said he spoke with a 14-year-old friend of the girl’s who had gone with her to Allard’s apartment one time. The 14-year-old told Cole she had noticed him touching her friend’s leg.
In May 2012, the girl came forward to police to give them more details about the way Allard touched her. She said that one occasion, after she had been drinking and using marijuana, Allard had sexual contact with her.
The girl said she couldn’t say exactly when it happened but said it was toward the end of the time when she would visit him. She told police she had been reluctant to report the incident before because she “thought everybody was going to judge me” and “did not want people to think it was her fault.”
Allard was arraigned on the charges that stemmed from the investigation in May 2011. New charges were filed against Allard in June 2012 based on the girl’s statement from May 2012.
Allard is also facing pending charges based on allegations that he had sexual contact with another girl who alleged the contact happened when she was 9 or 10.
Bennington County Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Christina Rainville said on Thursday that the state was very pleased with the verdict. She also noted that the girl, who is now 17, showed “tremendous courage” while testifying on Tuesday.
No contact information was available for T. Lamar Enzor, who represented Allard during the trial.