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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Nashua South Superior Court officer, 72, held on multiple sexual assault charges

MERRIMACK – A court officer at Hillsborough County Superior Court South in Nashua was terminated Tuesday, a day after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a child younger than 13 years old multiple times over a period of years, police said.

David S. Morse, 72, of 18 Highland Green, was held on $100,000 cash or surety bail after his arraignment Tuesday at Merrimack district court on three counts of aggravated felonious assault and two counts of felonious sexual assault, according to police and district court personnel. ...

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MERRIMACK – A court officer at Hillsborough County Superior Court South in Nashua was terminated Tuesday, a day after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a child younger than 13 years old multiple times over a period of years, police said.

David S. Morse, 72, of 18 Highland Green, was held on $100,000 cash or surety bail after his arraignment Tuesday at Merrimack district court on three counts of aggravated felonious assault and two counts of felonious sexual assault, according to police and district court personnel.

Morse is scheduled for a probable cause hearing Tuesday, July 29, at the Merrimack court.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Jim Hardy said Tuesday that he terminated Morse, who worked as a court officer in Nashua for more than 12 years, upon being informed of Morse’s arrest.

Morse had been on leave since Hardy was informed that an investigation was underway. “When we became aware of the criminal investigation, I immediately placed him on leave,” Hardy said. “When he was arrested, I terminated his employment.”

Merrimack police Lt. Denise Roy said Tuesday that police launched an investigation a little more than a week ago after receiving a report that Morse “had sexual contact with a juvenile under the age of 13.”

Roy said the assaults took place over a period of several years. She said police are continuing to investigate Morse and looking into whether there are additional victims or any other information pertinent to the case.

She didn’t release the age or gender of the alleged victim, citing the ongoing investigation.

Roy said Morse was arrested on a warrant but declined to say where the arrest took place, except to say that he wasn’t arrested at his home. She said Merrimack officers were assisted by Nashua police in effecting the arrest.

Hardy, meanwhile, said Morse is one of 30-40 court officers on duty at the Manchester and Nashua superior courthouses on an average day. Seventeen to 19 officers are typically on duty in Nashua each day.

While a number of court officers are retired sheriffs, police officers, and young men and women working toward a law enforcement career, Hardy said court officers aren’t required to have the level of certification that police and sheriffs do.

The officers are mainly responsible for maintaining order inside, immediately outside and at entrances to courthouses, Hardy said, and have the authority to detain individuals and take steps to restore order when necessary. Their authority extends outside the courthouses in some instances, such as escorting members of juries when they view crime scenes and accompanying prisoners during transport.

Staff writer Joseph G. Cote contributed to this report. Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443 or dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Shalhoup on Twitter (@Telegraph_DeanS).