Leicester man charged with domestic abuse

LEICESTER — A Leicester man on Monday pleaded innocent in Addison Superior Court, criminal division, to felony first-degree aggravated domestic assault and other related charges after being accused of severely beating a woman and allegedly preventing her from leaving her home and from contacting authorities on Oct. 11.

Jonathan G. French, 42, was ordered held on $20,000 bail following his arraignment on the domestic assault charge and three other charges: interference with access to emergency services (misdemeanor), restraining a person with intent to inflict bodily injury (felony), and unlawful mischief (misdemeanor).

It was at around 3 a.m. on Oct. 11 that Vermont State Police Trooper Kyle Young was dispatched to a home on Delorm Road in Leicester amid reports of a “suspicious 911 call,” according to court records. Upon arrival, Young met with a woman who alleged that French had assaulted her, prevented her from calling for help and would not let her leave the home, according to court records.

The victim told police she and French had been drinking some alcoholic beverages earlier that evening when they got into an argument, according to Young’s court affidavit. She reported having had little to drink and decided to get into her truck and leave the home, according to court records. But French allegedly grabbed her by the sweatshirt as she tried to get into her truck and “slammed her on the driveway,” according to Young’s affidavit.

The woman told police she tried to protect herself by crawling under an adjacent car, but French allegedly pulled her out from under the vehicle and “kicked her multiple times in the ribs,” according to court records.

While the victim laid on the ground in pain and shock, French allegedly ripped the center console out of her truck while throwing all of the contents on the ground, causing her phone to break, according to court records.

French then allegedly grabbed her by the arm and dragged her into the home, throwing her onto a mattress and pinning her down, according to court records.

“She further advised that French smacked her around several times while grabbing her sweatshirt and slamming her against the mattress several times,” according to Young. “She advised she was in fear of her life and thought French would kill her.”

The victim told police that French eventually went outside to smoke a cigarette, at which time she tried to escape out of a bathroom window, but stopped when she heard French return, according to court records. That’s when French allegedly pushed her back onto the mattress again and “hit her several more times,” according to Young’s affidavit.

Eventually, the victim was able to get French’s phone and returned to the bathroom to dial 911, according to court records. But French allegedly walked into the bathroom, turned the phone off while she was talking to the VSP dispatcher, and allegedly stacked the mattress and other items up against the bathroom door while the victim was still inside, according to court records.

Police then arrived, as did officials from Middlebury Regional EMS, who treated the victim’s injuries and took her to Porter Hospital for further care for potential internal injuries, according to Young.

After her examination, the victim reported a possible hairline fracture of her ribs, according to court records. Medical personnel took photos of multiple bruising on her arms, back and face, according to police. Young said he also detected bruising on her wrists, forearms, elbows and upper arms, as well as scraped and bloody knees and “red markings” near her left armpit area.

If convicted on the felony first-degree aggravated domestic assault case, French faces a penalty of up to 15 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000. If convicted on the felony count of restraining a person with intent to inflict bodily injury, French faces up to life in jail and/or a fine of up to $50,000.

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Addison County Independent

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