By Doug Ireland
---- — SALEM — More than a year after a Haverhill, Mass., man allegedly exposed himself at Wal-Mart on North Broadway, a young girl is still deeply troubled by the incident.
Salem police Detective Michael White testified yesterday in 10th Circuit Court that Ronald Beausoleil frightened the 8-year-old when he approached her in September 2011, and began touching her shirt, asking, “Isn’t that nice?”
Beausoleil, 33, of 972 Amesbury Road was in court for a probable causing hearing on a felony indecent exposure charge. He fled the store and was not charged until earlier this month, following his arrest March 10 for a similar incident at Wal-Mart in Plaistow.
Police allege he touched a 9-year-old girl in a sexual manner in the toy aisle of the Plaistow Wal-Mart. He was in jail on those charges when Salem police arrested him for the Salem incident in 2011.
The child in the Salem incident, now 9, was playing hide-and-seek with her aunt in the store when Beausoleil walked up to her, White testified. Beausoleil is a convicted Level 3 sex offender in Massachusetts.
Since the incident, the girl has been upset by the incident, afraid the man who exposed himself would hurt her, White said.
“The aunt advised me (the girl thought) the suspect would come to her house and come and get her,” he said.
White, who testified for more than an hour before Judge Michael Sullivan, told of his first encounter with the child when he responded to the store.
“She looked like something had happened,” White said. “She looked bothered, traumatized.”
The girl’s aunt told police the child was so disturbed by the incident, she often draws pictures of what happened that day.
Beausoleil’s attorney, public defender Anthony Naro, tried to discredit White’s testimony and the aunt’s statements to police, especially a comment that she thought the suspect was 50 to 60 years old. The aunt and girl picked Beausoleil out of photo lineups.
“My client is clearly not 50 to 60 years old,” Naro said. “The man that the girl pointed out looked nothing like the man her aunt described.”
Sullivan ruled that Beausoleil’s case will advance to Rockingham Superior Court, where he faces indictment by a grand jury.
Beausoleil has a lengthy criminal record that includes a conviction for felonious sexual assault in Massachusetts in 1999.