NH JOURNAL – As New Hampshire Democrats remain silent about one of their own sitting in jail on stalking charges, the state’s leading victim advocacy group is speaking out.
State Rep. Stacie Laughton (D-Nashua) is currently being held without bail in Manchester’s Valley Street Jail on grounds she presents an ongoing danger to the public as well as the victim of her stalking and harassment.
“When charged as a class A misdemeanor, conviction for misdemeanor offenses can carry up to one year in jail, two years probation, and a $2,000.00 fine. If a Judge in this Court sentences the accused to serve jail time, it’s served at the notorious Valley Street Jail in Manchester.” – Lothstein Guerriero law firm, Concord, NH
Laughton had already been found guilty of stalking the same Hudson woman named in the current complaint. The charges go back to at least 2019 before Laughton was elected as New Hampshire’s first transgender state representative.
Incoming House Democratic Caucus leader Rep. Matt Wilhelm and state party chair Ray Buckley have both refused to condemn Laughton’s behavior or respond to multiple requests for comment about her arrest.
But the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (NHCADSV) is speaking out.
“Democrats could solve this problem by announcing in advance they will refuse to seat Laughton. But they haven’t, which means they care more about politics than protecting women.” – Rep. Ross Berry (R-Manchester)
“We are extremely concerned by the numerous charges filed against Rep. Laughton. It is critical that individuals that hold positions of power be held accountable when they cause harm. There is no place in the New Hampshire legislature for those who perpetrate abuse,” said Amanda Grady Sexton, NHCADSV director of public affairs.
“Stalking is rooted in a pattern of behavior intended to cause fear in the victim and can have long-term impacts on a survivor. Stalking is a very serious crime that has the potential to escalate to physical and even lethal violence,” Grady Sexton said.
One reason for the Democratic Party’s silence, critics said, was the GOP’s extremely narrow 198-201 majority in the House. As a result, every vote will count at Wednesday’s Organization Day session when representatives are sworn in and leadership positions are settled. Laughton’s vote could decide which party has a majority.
Democrats are also mounting a major campaign to oust current Secretary of State Dave Scanlan in favor of former State Sen. Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline).
Could Laughton leave jail to cast a vote on the floor of the State House?
Under New Hampshire’s Constitution, state representatives cannot be stopped from attending House sessions and police are prohibited from arresting representatives en route to the legislature … READ MORE.