NH man sentenced to 10 to 20 years for rape of 14-year-old in hallway of Manchester school
MANCHESTER — A man was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison Tuesday for physically overpowering and raping a 14-year-old girl in an unused hallway of West High School in 2015.
Bryan Wilson, 19, of Manchester, had faced three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and an alternative theory misdemeanor sexual assault, but he was only found guilty of one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault after an April 13 trial.
Court documents state that Wilson was a student enrolled at West High School in Manchester on Sept. 30, 2015. During the seventh class period of the day, Wilson skipped class with a 14-year-old female student in a rarely used hallway in the building.
Witnesses in court said that the hallway was a known spot for truant students to hang out in, and that it often smelled like smoke. The hallway has since been locked up and no students are allowed inside.
During trial, the victim testified that Wilson overpowered her in the secluded hallway and forced her to engage in oral, vaginal and anal sex. She described being frozen in shock for most of the assault, but said that she cried and told Wilson to stop repeatedly.
After the victim reported the assault, officers visited Wilson's residence at the time and spoke with him and his grandmother who agreed to allow him to be interviewed by police. Wilson went down to the station voluntarily and was told he could leave at any point in the interview.
According to court documents, Wilson initially denied having any contact with the victim at the time of the assault, but as he talked with police more, he began admitting to engaging in more and more sexual acts with the victim that day. Wilson also told officers he "blacked out" and did not think he vaginally or anally penetrated the victim, but that he was unsure if it had happened.
After nearly two hours of interviewing, police left the room for a break, and when they returned, they informed Wilson that the victim had been examined at the hospital and that preseminal fluid and semen had been found in her vagina and anus.
The officers told Wilson it was better to be honest with them, to which he told police that there was no point in being honest because he was already caught. Wilson admitted to anally and vaginally penetrating the victim shortly after, and police detained him. DNA testing from the State Forensic Lab confirmed that Wilson's semen was found on the victim.
Officers said their initial intent of the interview was not to detain Wilson, but that some of the statements he made during the interview made them fear for the victim's safety.
Wilson had told police that if he walked out of the police station that day he would "pull (the victim) out of class" and talk to her in school about the incident the next day.
Wilson was incarcerated in the Sununu Detention Center and later held on strict house arrest until he was convicted in April. His bail was revoked following his conviction on one of the aggravated felonious sexual assault charges.
He remained incarcerated until his sentencing June 20, where the court heard from multiple witnesses and considered statement's from the victim's and Wilson's families.
The state argued that Wilson was a violent sexual predator who was a danger to public safety, and that his crime was particularly heinous given the victim’s age and that it took place in a school where children should feel safe.
Wilson's attorney argued that Wilson had made a mistake, had learned from his mistake, and was too young for prison.
Before issuing the sentence, Judge John Kissinger described the victim as "courageous," and remarked on her "poise, strength, and bravery." He also assured her that what happened was in no way her fault. He described Wilson’s actions as "brutal act of physical violence," and dismissed the defense arguments describing Wilson’s actions as a "mistake or misunderstanding."
Kissinger sentenced the defendant to 10 to 20 years in the New Hampshire State Prison. Two years of the minimum sentence may be suspended upon successful completion of the Sex Offender Program while incarcerated. The defendant also may apply for earned time credit reductions if he participates in qualifying programs and remains free of major disciplinary infractions, according to statute.