Lebanon — A 32-year-old Randolph man is being held on $10,000 cash bail after police say he lured a teen to a secluded spot in West Lebanon this summer and assaulted and tormented him.
Kristopher Locke allegedly duped the 17-year-old boy into thinking Locke was in danger and being threatened by a woman in July. When the teen arrived to help, he was instructed through electronic messages to put a pillowcase over his own head and bind his own hands, according to a Lebanon police affidavit filed by Lt. Matthew Isham.
Locke then fastened a belt around the teen’s neck, bound his genitals with a shoelace, and cut the underside of his penis with a knife, according to the affidavit. The teen later told police he believed his attacker might have been Locke, based on the sound of his voice and the clothes he was wearing.
Lebanon police issued an arrest warrant for Locke in October on lesser charges of harassment, criminal threatening and stalking, and Locke was arraigned that month in Lebanon District Court and held at the Grafton County jail on cash bail. Police in late December upgraded the charges, and Locke was rearraigned.
Lebanon District Court Judge Henrietta Luneau held a probable cause hearing on Tuesday on the new charges and found sufficient evidence to bind the case over to Grafton Superior Court.
Locke is still being held at the county jail in North Haverhill. He faces felony charges of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and kidnapping, as well as misdemeanor simple assault.
At his December arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge, but didn’t enter pleas to the felonies, per court procedure in New Hampshire. The lesser charges have since been dropped.
A phone message left for Locke’s public defender, Jeremiah Newhall, of Keene, N.H., was not returned on Thursday.
According to the affidavit, Locke and the teen became friends over the summer.
At the start of their friendship, Locke allegedly had the teen exchange electronic messages with a female named “Shannon Mears,” who police say was a persona created by Locke to lure the teen, according to the affidavit.
Locke would send the teen messages from more than one phone number, pretending some of the messages were from him while others were from “Shannon.”
Locke in early July messaged the teen and said he had been kidnapped by Shannon and that he needed the teen’s help, “or she is gonna kill me,” the affidavit states.
Locke told the teen to come to “River Park” in West Lebanon and follow the female’s directions, according to the affidavit.
Once there, “Shannon” told the teen, via the electronic messages, to take off all his clothes, put zip ties on his hands, a pillowcase over his head and to sit and wait for a tap on his shoulder from a person she said would be her brother, the affidavit said.
“(The teen) said he followed the instructions as he felt he did not have a choice in order to save Kris,” according to the affidavit.
The teen was then attacked, tormented and cut with a knife by a man who police say was Locke, according to the affidavit.
After the assault and abuse stopped, the teen told police, Locke appeared immediately at his side and helped get the pillowcase off his head and the shoelace off his genitals, the affidavit states.
In a police interview, Locke told police a different version of events, saying “Shannon” showed up at his house, zip-tied his hands together, brought him to the park and sat him close enough to the teen that he could hear him calling out. Locke said he was able to get away and then helped free the teen, the affidavit said.
The teen told police he thought the person who assaulted him was Locke because he recognized his voice. In addition, the man who assaulted him was wearing jean shorts, and so was Locke, according to the affidavit.
The teen tried to distance himself from Locke at the end of the summer, prompting Locke to allegedly send him threatening messages, according to the affidavit.
In September, the boy went to police about the messages, and weeks later spoke with a child abuse investigator about the alleged incident at the park in July.
Police said they had no record of a “Shannon Mears” in their database and that the messages allegedly sent by her were traced back to Locke’s email and cellphone, according to the affidavit.
During the police interview, Locke allegedly acknowledged that “Shannon” wasn’t a real person and that he set the teen up, the affidavit said.
Locke, who was working at Dan & Whit’s in Norwich up until his arrest this fall, had previously served time in Vermont for unlawful mischief and other misdemeanor charges.
After his release from jail, he had for a time resided at the Hartford Dismas House, a home that helps re-integrate furloughed, non-violent offenders back into the community.
Locke wasn’t living at the Dismas house when the alleged incident occurred, police said.
According to court records in the Twin States, Locke has at least three other open cases. All of the pending charges in those cases are misdemeanors.
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