NO. HAVERHILL — Former Bristol Police Chief Michael Lewis was acquitted Friday on a charge of touching a woman on the hip, originally filed as a sexual assault charge but reduced to a misdemeanor simple assault charge just before the case went to trial.

The jury in Grafton County Superior Court deliberated less than an hour before returning the not guilty verdict.

Bristol selectmen placed Lewis on paid administrative leave in September 2017 and he resigned a month later. A Grafton County Superior Court Grand Jury handed up three felony indictments in June 2018, alleging theft by deception in collecting overtime pay for hours he never worked. Town officials said the money came from New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency Police Detail grants.

The former county attorney also filed three counts of sexual assault, alleging Lewis touched a woman's buttocks, which led to this week's jury trial when the charges were nol prossed and replaced with the simple assault charges.

The theft charges are currently scheduled to be heard in August.

Contacted on Friday afternoon, Lewis, a resident of Ashland, said he expected his attorney to file for dismissal of the other charges in light of the testimony in this case.

Grafton County Attorney Marcie Hornick did not return a call seeking comment on the case Friday afternoon.

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