LACONIA — A former Belmont man was found guilty Thursday of repeatedly sexually assaulting an adolescent girl over a period of three years. He now faces a lengthy prison sentence.
A jury found Keith Chandler, 46, guilty of five counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, two counts of attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault, and two counts of felonious sexual assault. All the counts included a domestic violence component because the victim was a member of Chandler’s household.
The jury of nine women and three men returned the verdicts Thursday afternoon after about four hours of deliberations.
Chandler was living on Laconia Road (Route 106) in Belmont when the charges were filed, but more recently had been living in Port Richey, Florida.
According to the charges, Chandler repeatedly sexually assaulted the victim between 2013-16, when she was 13 to 16 years of age.
“We are very pleased with the outcome,” Belknap County Attorney County Attorney Andrew Livernois, who prosecuted the case, said after the jury returned the verdict.
A sixth aggravated felonious sexual charge was dropped at the conclusion of the prosecution’s case because not enough evidence had been presented to support the charge, Livernois said.
The five aggravated felonious sexual assault charges, and the two attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault charges are each potentially punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison, while each of the felonious sexual assault charges carry a potential prison sentence of 3½ to seven years.
Following the jury’s verdict Chandler was ordered held at the Belknap County Corrections facility pending his sentencing. Livernois said the sentencing could take place within 30 days, although it could be longer if the defense asks the court for a presentence review.
The jury heard 2½ days of testimony, including from the victim, now 19, who testified for close to two hours on Tuesday.
“Not everything was a slam-dunk,” juror Richard Doerre said of the deliberations. “Listening to evidence of nine highly unpleasant sexual offenses is not easy. But in the end we did everything we had to do.”