N.H. man arrested in child assault

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MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – A 25-year-old Wilton man was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s 10-year-old daughter.

Patrick Collins was arrested Monday at his home. He is accused of assaulting the girl at her home in Manchester early Monday.

If convicted, Collins could face harsh new penalties for child sex offenders that went into effect Monday as part of New Hampshire’s new Sexual Predators Act. Under that law, judges are encouraged – but not required – to lock up first time offenders for 25 years.

Collins was ordered held on $30,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court in two weeks.

In another, unrelated case, a Concord man was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of aggravated felonious sexual assault involving an 8-year-old girl.

Peter Barton, 50, is accused of sexually assaulting the girl twice on Sunday. He was arrested on Monday.

Barton was ordered held on $200,000 bail and was scheduled for a hearing on Jan. 16 in Concord District Court.

AP-ES-01-02-07 1916EST

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