New Hampshire lawmaker pleads guilty to assaulting teen girl

PELHAM, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire lawmaker has pleaded guilty to assaulting a 16-year-old girl and a legislative leader is calling for him to resign.

Republican Rep. Eric Schleien, of Hudson, and prosecutors agreed to a capped sentence of one year, with half of it suspended based on good behavior, the Eagle Tribune reported. After serving 30 days, Schleien would be eligible to serve the remainder under house arrest.

He was charged last year with one misdemeanor count of sexual assault and two misdemeanor counts of simple assault. Schleien denied the allegations.

In June, a judge denied a proposed plea agreement because it gave him a chance to avoid jail time. He pleaded guilty on Friday.

A second count of assault and another count of sexual assault were not prosecuted as part of the plea deal.

Republican House Majority Leader Dick Hinch released a statement later Friday saying Schleien should resign immediately, and should have done so long ago.

“The details of his crime are sick, disturbing, and completely unacceptable. His misuse of his position as an elected official is beyond the pale,” wrote Hinch. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victim, who has had to endure a long period of time before justice was served.”

Schleien, who is not seeking re-election, did not immediately return an email seeking comment on Saturday. His attorney also could not be reached.

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