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Former CHLC chair indicted for sexual assault in N.H.

Posted: October 6, 2011 5:32 p.m.
Updated: October 7, 2011 5:00 a.m.
C-I file photo/

Clarence Mahoney, during a March 2010 appearance before Camden City Council

Clarence Mahoney, 69, the former chairman of the Camden Historic Landmarks Commission (CHLC), is under indictment by a New Hampshire grand jury on charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault. Mahoney could face between 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted.

According to a copy of a Sept. 6, 2011, indictment on the Rockingham County (N.H.) Attorney’s website, Mahoney allegedly “engaged in a pattern of sexual assault against” a minor male child listed in the indictment only by the initials “N.H.” It listed the victim as now being 13 years of age.

The indictment went on to allege that Mahoney committed “more than one act of intentionally engaging in sexual contact with N.H., specifically by touching the genitalia of N.H. with his hand, under circumstances that can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification.”

According to the indictment, the alleged acts took place during a period of two or more months within a period of five years between March 1, 2006, and Jan. 1, 2011, in the town of Derry, N.H. An electronic notation on the indictment form indicated the victim was 5 to 10 years old during the alleged offenses.

Rockingham County, where Derry is located, lies at New Hampshire’s extreme southeastern corner bordering Massachusetts. Derry, incorporated in 1827, is nicknamed “Space Town” because it is the birthplace of Alan Shepard, the first American astronaut to fly in space.

Derry Police Department Capt. Vernon L. Thomas said Mahoney allegedly engaged in multiple acts with the victim over a three- to four-year period of time.

“He had frequent access to the victim,” Thomas said, but declined to comment on whether the victim is related to Mahoney. “It is also possible, I would say likely, that other incidents occurred in Virginia, Texas and North Carolina.”

Specifically, Thomas said, acts may have occurred in Williamsburg, Va.; Austin, Texas; and Kitty Hawk, N.C. He did not indicate the victim was ever assaulted in South Carolina. Thomas said all of the possible acts relate back to the one victim, but did not rule out the possibility of there being other victims.

“We don’t know if there are others,” Thomas said.

As part of an agreement between Mahoney and the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office, once Mahoney was advised of the indictment, he was allowed to turn himself in to the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office for processing.

“He was not arrested,” Rockingham County Assistant Attorney Brad Bolton said. “He had to come up and be processed -- fingerprinted, photographed, give identifying information.”

Thomas confirmed the Derry Police Department withdrew its warrant against Mahoney in lieu of the indictment.

As chairman of Camden’s historic landmarks commission, Mahoney played a prominent role in local preservation efforts, including the 2005 designation of three historic neighborhood districts -- Logtown, Kirkwood  and Sarsfield -- bringing hundreds of properties under the CHLC’s control.

More recently as a private citizen, Mahoney was one of the more vocal critics of a move to develop the former site of Camden Middle School (CMS) into a residential development.

Bolton said a court date for Mahoney has not been set.

Bolton also said he would be looking into exactly where Mahoney is now. Mahoney’s Hampton Street home is up for sale, listed on the market since mid-August at $399,900, and is currently vacant. The indictment still lists Mahoney at that address. Bolton expressed surprise that Mahoney was no longer living in Camden.

“I’ll have to look into that,” he said.

Thomas, however, implied his department is keeping tabs on Mahoney.

“We have an idea of where we could find him, not that we need to right now,” Thomas said, declining to specify where officers believe Mahoney is currently residing.

Mahoney’s attorney, Tim Harrington of Shaheen & Gordon, with offices in Concord, Dover and Manchester, N.H., did not return phone messages asking for comment.


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