A 67-year-old Epsom man is accused of abusing multiple children in incidents dating to 1991, and the police said an additional case could be pending in Maine.
Belknap County officials arrested Kenneth Day at his home yesterday afternoon on four charges and 300 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault involving two people who were children at the time of the incidents, officials said.
Yesterday, officials heard that three more people might also have been abused, but Barnstead police Sgt. Joseph McDowell, who assisted with Day’s arrest, said those reports have not yet been confirmed.
In the case connected to yesterday’s arrest, a man and a woman told the police that Day sexually abused them in a school bus that had been converted into a camper located in Barnstead, McDowell said. He was unable to give the exact location of the camper and said he was not sure whether Day had been using it as a home.
Another person reported having been abused by Day in Barnstead and in Maine, McDowell said, but that case is going to be pursued in Maine because the statute of limitations has expired in New Hampshire. McDowell could not say when that person said the abuse took place.
McDowell could not specify the exact time frame for the abuse in any of the cases, but said the incidents occurred when the individuals were “preteens.”
The police began investigating Day several months ago, McDowell said, after two of the people involved came forward separately to report they were abused. The two knew each other outside of the case and knew Day before the alleged abuse, McDowell said.
The Belknap County Sheriff’s Department made the arrest with assistance from the Epsom Police Department, the Barnstead Police Department and other agencies, McDowell said. At this time, McDowell said he is unaware whether federal authorities may become involved in the case.
The police have also made the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth & Families aware of the case, McDowell said. The agency’s director, Maggie Bishop, said reports are confidential and she could not confirm additional details.
Bishop said a person might delay reporting his or her abuse for several reasons – they might be afraid no one will believe them, she said, or they might fear retaliation for accusing someone of abuse.
“Every victim deals with the trauma of sexual abuse differently,” Bishop said, adding that she’s witnessed a range of responses to abuse in her decades of work with the division.
In recent years, Bishop said, society as a whole has also become more vigilant about educating children about abuse and encouraging survivors to come forward.
“Especially to children, more often than not, it is someone they know or someone they trust,” Bishop said. “It’s usually people they expect to protect them.”
As of last night, Day was at the Belknap County jail and had refused bail. He will be arraigned at 10 a.m. today via video, a corrections official said. Day was not previously listed as a registered sex offender, and McDowell said he was unaware of the man’s past criminal history.
The Barnstead police are asking anyone with additional information to contact the department at 269-4281 or Belknap County Sheriff’s Office Detective Judy Estes at 527-5454.
(Casey McDermott can be reached at 369-3306 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @caseymcdermott.)