AUGUSTA — Two Waterville men face charges of victim tampering in two states in connection with an alleged sexual assault by one of them last September in New Hampshire and alleged subsequent efforts to pressure a woman to drop her accusations.

Randall S. Cook, 64, has been indicted in New Hampshire on sexual assault charges stemming from an incident in Hudson, New Hampshire. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

He faces the tampering charges as well as Richard L. Hildreth, 62, formerly of Fairfield, a coworker of Cook and the woman named as the victim in the sexual assault charges.

Both men were at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta for separate hearings on Monday. They have not entered pleas in the Maine cases. Those complaints were filed in June.

Cook and Hildreth are charged in Maine with tampering with a victim, falsifying physical evidence and tampering with public records or information, all dated around Sept. 22, 2017. The charges say that Cook and Hildreth attempted to get the victim named in the sexual assault case — a 19-year-old woman — to provide false information in an official investigation and that the men provided a false record to the government.

An affidavit by Waterville police Officer Damon Lefferts, which is filed in the Augusta court, says he was asked in late May 2018 to assist New Hampshire authorities in the case.

Lefferts wrote that Cook and the 19-year-old woman had been working for Radio Communications Inc., of Waterville, and were on a job in New Hampshire where the woman reported that Cook had assaulted her sexually.

Cook was arrested and charged there. The two continued working at the same Waterville workplace but on separate shifts because Cook was prohibited from contact with her.

Lefferts said Cook then confronted the victim at the workplace and asked her to drop the case. “It was brought to our attention that Randy would contact (the woman) on multiple occasions in different forms of communication,” Lefferts wrote.

The victim told Lefferts there was so much pressure she called the prosecuting attorney in New Hampshire and asked to have the case dropped “because she needed a job” and because it was “(a)ffecting her and Randy’s mental state.” The victim told Lefferts there had been 10 one-on-one conversations about the case and that Cook said the woman’s life would be ruined.

Lefferts wrote that Hildreth facilitated some of the contact and that the woman believed Cook was contacting her via text from Hildreth’s phone. The woman told Lefferts she attempted suicide because of the case.

The woman later quit her job at Radio Communications and is working elsewhere.

She told police that Hildreth showed her a letter purportedly written by her to the New Hampshire prosecutor saying she would not cooperate and to discount an audio recording of the alleged sexual offense that was obtained from a GoPro camera.

The woman told police that she first thought the letter was a joke because her name was misspelled in it. But she said Hildreth later corrected it at the workplace, and then she was taken to a bank and signed the letter in front of the notary.

Lefferts wrote, “(The victim) was nervous and scared and she felt compelled to sign it even though nothing in it was true and she never physically mailed the letter herself.”

Lefferts said he later recorded a phone conversation between Hildreth and the woman about the letter she signed and a subsequent conversation the woman had with Cook in which he told the woman to copy the letter to her own laptop so she could tell the DA she wrote it.

Cook is free on $10,000 cash bail in New Hampshire, where he was indicted in March on three charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault on a physically helpless victim and two charges of simple assault that included physical contact and results in bodily injury. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges. A note in the case summary indicates the prosecutor is seeking a class A penalties — sentences of 7.5 to 15 years — on two of the charges.

He also was indicted in June 2018 in the same court on charges of witness tampering (conspiracy), falsifying evidence (conspiracy), falsifying physical evidence, hindering apprehension/prosecution and obstructing government administration.

Cook is represented there by attorney Harry Nelson Starbranch Jr. A hearing there on a motion to revoke Cook’s bail is set for Aug. 10, 2018, and jury selection is scheduled for October.

Cook was held originally in lieu of $20,000 cash bail in Maine, but that was reduced to $10,000 cash on Monday. Cook is represented in Maine by attorney Walter McKee, who said via email on Wednesday, “Randy is fighting this charge in Maine as well as the charge in New Hampshire.”

Hildreth was in court Monday in Augusta, and his cash bail was reduced as well, from $10,000 cash to $5,000 cash with a condition prohibiting him from contact with the victim.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Coleman opposed the bail reduction. He told Judge Matthew Tice that the crime involved tampering with “the victim of a rather nasty sexual assault.” Coleman said it was important to keep the higher bail to ensure that Hildreth would “stop breaking the law, stop tampering with victim.”

Hildreth’s Maine attorney, Pasquale “Pat” Perrino, told Tice that Hildreth was not charged in the alleged sexual assault. “This man is charged with tampering,” he said.

On Wednesday, Perrino said, “My position is that the state’s really grasping at straws against my client.”

Records from New Hampshire’s Hillsborough Superior Court Southern District show that Hildreth was indicted in June on three felony charges: witness tampering (conspiracy), falsifying evidence (conspiracy), and falsifying physical evidence; and also charged with hindering apprehension/prosecution and obstructing government administration, both misdemeanors.

He was scheduled for arraignment there Monday but failed to appear, and a warrant for his arrest was issued Wednesday, according to case records. No attorney is listed for Hildreth in the New Hampshire case summary.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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