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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Man indicted on charge he drove drunk and injured state trooper in Nashua crash

NASHUA – A driver who injured a state trooper while drunk, according to police, was among the March indictments released Friday by a Hillsborough County grand jury.

An indictment isn’t proof of guilt, but instead is a finding that sufficient evidence exists to bind the defendant over for trial. Guilt is determined either by the outcome of a jury trial or a guilty plea entered by the defendant.

Police said a driver was drunk when he caused a crash on the F.E. Everett Turnpike in Nashua on Oct. 15, according to the indictment. State Police Trooper Tom Forsley was seriously injured in the crash, according to the indictment.

Erik Burk, 23, of Billerica, Mass., was indicted on a charge of aggravated driving while intoxicated.

Christopher Cates, 43, currently held at the Valley Street jail, was indicted on four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. Two victims were assaulted, both younger than 13 at the time, according to the indictment.

One victim was assaulted in Nashua three times between September 2006 and September 2010, according to the indictment.

The second victim was assaulted once in Nashua between 1986 and 1988, according to the indictment.

In New Hampshire, the statute of limitations for most sexual assaults is six years.

However, for victims younger than 18, prosecution can occur at any time within 22 years of the victim’s 18th birthday.

Alan North, 30, also held at the Valley Street jail, was indicted on two counts of sexually assaulting a child younger than 13 in Milford.

Ariel Mendez-Tavarez, 21, held at Valley Street jail, was indicted on two counts of sexually assaulting a teenager between age 13 and 16 in Nashua.

Christopher Palermo, 35, of Milford, was indicted on charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault and attempted theft.

Patrick Meighan can be reached at 594-6518 or