PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) – Former New Hampshire congressional candidate Gary Dodds has pleaded not guilty to assault and false imprisonment charges stemming from an altercation with his estranged wife.

A judge set bail at $25,000 at Dodds’ arraignment Monday.

Prosecutors say Dodds’ wife, Cindy, showed up at the emergency room Thursday night saying she had been kidnapped by Dodds. During a series of arguments, she says he told her he would rape her, blocked her escape, took her cell phone and car keys. She also says he stepped on the brake and grabbed the steering wheel while she was driving.

Dodds was charged with violating the bail conditions imposed after he was convicted in February of faking his disappearance after a crash two years ago. In May, he was arrested after his wife reported that he had moved out of their Rye home, had been acting erratically and had thrown her to the floor during an argument.

Cindy Dodds filed for divorce on June 20, citing irreconcilable differences. She also sought a restraining order in the divorce filing, but it’s unkown if that was granted because the all the divorce documents are sealed besides the petition.

Judge Sawako Gardner has ordered that Gary Dodds undergo a mental health evaluation and have no contact with his wife.

Information from: Foster’s Daily Democrat, http://www.fosters.com

Information from: Portsmouth Herald, http://www.seacoastonline.com

AP-ES-07-07-08 1915EDT

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