Three days after trial, man faces new felony charge
By Patrick McArdle
BENNINGTON — A Pleasant Street man who was found guilty earlier this month of recklessly shooting a deer from the road in November was recently arraigned on a new charge after police said he kissed a 14-year-old girl.
Joshua P. Hayes, 21, of Bennington, pleaded innocent last week in Bennington criminal court to a felony count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.
In an affidavit, Sgt. Michael Plusch of the Bennington Police Department said he met with a woman on June 18 who had come to the police station to report that her 14-year-old daughter was in an inappropriate relationship with an older man.
Plusch said he and Wendy Nolan, an investigator with the Vermont Department of Children and Families, met with the girl at the Bennington County Child Advocacy Center on June 19.
During the interview, the girl said she and Hayes had “developed this relationship” over the previous four weeks, primarily through text messages. She said she had told him she was 14 and he had told her that he knew he could “get in trouble” because of their relationship.
Plusch said the girl told investigators that Hayes had sent her a text message on June 16 asking her to come to his apartment. At the apartment, Hayes kissed her and bit her neck, she told police. She said the contact was consensual, according to the affidavit.
While she told police that Hayes had been drinking beer, she said she had not had any alcohol.
For the complete story, see Friday's Rutland Herald.