Teen charged with rapes was on probation for sex assault

Eliezer Tuttle

NORTH ANDOVER — Eliezer Tuttle, the North Andover High School senior accused of raping a teenage girl twice in New Hampshire last month, was on probation at the time for sexual assault charges in Massachusetts, according to court documents.

Rockingham Superior Court Judge William Delker said he took that into consideration when deciding to keep the 18-year-old behind bars after a hearing Monday.

Because Tuttle was a minor during the prior sex assault case, information about when and where it happened, or anything about the victim, is not available to the public.

North Andover Superintendent Gregg Gilligan would not say how long Tuttle — a member of the track and field and wrestling teams — continued to attend classes while on probation for sexual assault.

In a prepared statement issued Wednesday evening by Gilligan and high school Principal Chet Jackson, they said the school district was prohibited by law from commenting on individual students without their "informed written consent."

The statement said the schools would not be able to provide any specific information about Tuttle or the charges against him. The statement referred to Tuttle as a "former" student.

"Finally, it important to note that in the event that it is brought to the attention of the District that a student has been charged with a felony in any jurisdiction, the student may be subject to long-term suspension following a formal hearing where the principal determines that the student’s presence at school would have a substantial detrimental effect on the general welfare of the school. 

The statement said that any crime against a student or staff member within the North Andover school system would be reported to authorities.

"Although we are precluded by law from sharing or discussing any information regarding specific students, please note that the safety and welfare of both students and staff is the foremost priority of the North Andover Public Schools," the statement said. "To the extent that a student reports to school authorities having been the victim of, or having witnessed, a criminal act to school authorities, our practice is to notify the student’s parents or guardians and to immediately refer the matter to the North Andover Police Department and/or appropriate authorities while also providing individual supports to the student victim or student witness where necessary and appropriate."

Tuttle, through a public defender, pleaded not guilty to the new charges Monday, which include several counts of assault and sexual assault in Salem, New Hampshire, and Epping on Feb. 17. 

The victim told Salem police the day after the alleged assaults that while she was on a date with Tuttle,  he pulled her into the back seat of his car and forcibly had sex with her.

"At one point, he held her down against her will, cutting off her air," Lt. Joe Keating read from a report. "She was unable to breathe."

The victim went on to tell police that after the Salem attack, she was driven to a movie theater in Epping, about a half-hour away, where she was attacked again, according to police.

Related to the Salem incident, Tuttle is charged with two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault (no consent), aggravated felonious sexual assault (use of force/violence), two counts of simple assault and second degree assault (strangulation).

Tuttle is charged in Epping with aggravated felonious sexual assault, attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault, criminal restraint and two counts of simple assault.

The cases are being prosecuted by the Rockingham County attorney's office.

Tuttle remained in jail Wednesday and was ordered to have no contact with the victim.

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