EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

August 20, 2013

Derry Town Council plans special meeting tonight

Defense lawyers weigh in on charges against town administrator

DERRY — Local defense attorneys had differing opinions after Town Administrator John Anderson was charged with indecent exposure and lewd and lascivious behavior on Friday.

Anderson, 50, was charged after police said he made sexual advances toward a DirecTV salesman at his home.

He has been on paid administrative leave since July 12, the day after the salesman went to Derry police to file a complaint. The investigation was handled by state police, concluded Aug. 2 and handed over to Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams for review.

Reams Friday announced there was an arrest warrant for Anderson, who has not yet turned himself in.

The Town Council held a nonpublic meeting Friday and voted unanimously to conduct its own inquiry and to continue Anderson’s paid leave. The council will meet again tonight, again in closed session, but officials have not said whether it is about Anderson.

Defense attorney Mark Stevens of Salem said prosecutors could have a tough time convicting Anderson.

“It’s a tough call,” Stevens said. “He isn’t exposing himself in public. He is in his own home.”

The DirecTV salesman was making random calls in the neighborhood when he stopped at Anderson’s home on Lane Road, according to a police affidavit released Friday.

Anderson waved the salesman into his home, the affidavit said, but the salesman didn’t notice Anderson was fully nude until he was inside the home.

Anderson was charged under RSA 645:1, the state’s criminal code for public indecency.

But defense attorney Don Blaszka of Salem said the fact the alleged actions weren’t in public may not be important.

“You have to look at exactly what the elements of the crime is,” he said. “Just because it might be the title of the statute, doesn’t mean it is what is alleged.”

Anderson is being charged for “knowingly exposing his genitals to another under circumstances that he should have known would likely cause affront or alarm,” according to the affidavit.

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