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Neighbors declare war on sex offender in Manchester

8-16-2007 New Hampshire:

Former Penacook woman hounded after serving years in prison

A child sex offender, is still paying for her crime. Her neighbors have seen to that.

They routinely call her "molester" and "skinner," slang for rapist, as she walks to and from her third-floor apartment in a tough neighborhood in Manchester. One of them burned a homemade scarecrow on her front step about 1 a.m. last Saturday, a crime for which Paul Hafford, who lives across the street, was booked on a charge of felonious reckless conduct.

And yesterday, her's roommate said she heard a loud thump against the side of their small two-bedroom apartment. She figures it was a rock, but she isn't sure.

War has been declared on her, who plead guilty to aggravated felonious sexual assault 10 years ago for improperly touching her oldest son, then nearly 9. Her neighbors want her out of the area, away from their children, away from the school down the street, which is within view of the old apartment buildings that line the street.

She served seven years in prison, spent nine months in a halfway house and finished her parole last summer. She's now in counseling, trying to figure out why she molested her own child.

She takes responsibility for her crime. "I just know I did wrong and I hope I never do it again. I think I got what I deserved," she said.

She's 39. She has diabetes and poor circulation in her legs. She lives on disability, as does her roomate, who says she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after her husband tried to kill her.

The two women must rely on one another for support while people outside their windows try to force them out of the neighborhood.

They sat together at their kitchen table and explained why they should be left alone, why this sort of treatment isn't fair.

Their bedroom floors are covered with laundry, and the walls need paint. Two cats, cream-colored brothers, scurry around, and three caged parakeets chirp through the entire conversation.

"I look at it that she's done her time, she's off parole, she's a good person," says the roommate, who met her a year ago through a mutual friend. "You've got to get to know her. She keeps to herself, she's got a wonderful mother, and you know her mom cares about her a lot. She's just a good person."

Her life, however, has been a train wreck. She had two children with her one and only husband and two more with an ex-boyfriend. She hasn't seen her children in years and doesn't know where they live.

She says she was sexually abused by three of her mother's boyfriends.

"I didn't tell anyone, so it was my own fault," she said.

Asked if the abuse she suffered relates to her own awful crime, she said, "I think so. Wouldn't you think so?"

She lived in Penacook and cooked at Concord's Beefside for a while, but the $25 roundtrip cab rides weren't worth it. Not on her hourly wage. She eventually moved in with a roommate to be closer to her 77-year-old mother, who lives within walking distance of her Ashland Street apartment.

"We've had no problems whatsoever living here," Smith said, "except with what they're doing across the street."

A neighbor saw her name on the sex offender registry recently, and word quickly spread. While Dover, Franklin, Tilton, Northfield and Boscawen prohibit child sex offenders from living near a school, Manchester has no such ban. Aldermen are looking to change that next month.

Across the street from her, a group of adults and children passed the time on their shared porch, enjoying the sun and low humidity. A rocking horse sat on the tiny front lawn.

The adults claim they weren't part of the wee-hour group - she estimates 15 people took part - that gathered in front of her apartment last weekend. They also say they don't agree with that sort of behavior.

But they want her out, too. Marie Emmons, 26, says all pedophiles should be lumped together into one dwelling.

"Look at DWI people," she says. "They all say they'll never do it again, and they do it again."

Her father, 51-year-old Eugene Emmons, points to the corner stop sign, just yards away, where the bus picks up school children each morning.

"It doesn't matter," Eugene says, when told she has paid her debt to society. "Maybe she hasn't hurt anybody, but she'll do it again."

The climate on her street doesn't figure to cool anytime soon. Fearing for her safety and dignity, she peeks out her kitchen window to make sure the coast is clear before leaving to visit her mother.

Her neighbors say she peeks out her window to look at the kids playing.

Only she knows the truth about herself, about her state of mind toward children. She says she wants to start fresh. She wants to go to school to learn to cook.

She also understands the fear that has blanketed the area.

"I would be scared too," she said. "But watch your kids and make sure they're all right. I know people don't understand my crime, but I hope they won't be scared of me." ..Source.. by Ray Duckler

Angry neighbors descend upon registered sex offender

8-14-2007 New Hampshire:

MANCHESTER – A small crowd of angry neighbors formed outside a registered sex offender's Ashland Street home early Saturday, taunting her as a "molester" and "skinner" before one of them tossed a burning scarecrow on her front stoop, residents and court records allege.

"They were yelling out 'Skinner, skinner, skinner!' They were yelling out 'War!'," said Barbara Smith, who shares the third floor 84 Ashland St. apartment with registered sex offender, Gloria J. Huot, 39. "Skinner" is prison slang for rapist.

Then one in the group of about 15 people lit a handmade scarecrow and carried the flaming figure across the street, throwing it on her wooden porch steps, said Smith, 43, who was home with her two sons, ages nine and 16, and a toddler she was babysitting when the incident occurred shortly after 1 a.m.

"He ran back across the street, and they were all out there laughing," Smith continued. The man returned to pull the burning scarecrow off the steps and began stomping it, she said. Another neighbor came over with a bucket of water and the two doused the flames, according to Smith and court records. The charred remains of the scarecrow were scattered over the street and sidewalk by the time police and firefighters arrived, court records show.

Paul Hafford, 29, who lives across the street at 81 Ashland St., is accused of lighting the scarecrow and throwing it on the front porch steps of the three-family apartment building. Hafford denied it, though he admitted being there when it happened, police said in an affidavit.

Hafford, who police said has a criminal history that includes four prior assault convictions, was arraigned on a felony reckless conduct charge in Manchester District Court yesterday. He was ordered held on $2,500 bail pending an Aug. 23 probable cause hearing.

Saturday's episode was an escalation of already raw relations between Huot and her neighbors since she and Smith moved into the apartment last month, according to the two women and their downstairs neighbors, Henry Capelle, 23, and Thomas Lapierre, 20. Neighbors have taunted Huot as a "skinner" when she leaves her house and told Smith the women should move, they said.

"It's scary because I don't know what they are going to do next," said Huot, who was taking care of her 77-year-old mother and was not at home at the time.

"I don't bother nobody. I don't look at nobody... I know people don't like me because of my crime. So I stay inside as much as possible," said Huot, who was convicted of aggravated felonious sexual assault in 1997. The state corrections department closed her case after she served seven years in prison and completed her parole last year, corrections officials said.

The corrections department has no authority over anyone who is no longer under its supervision, including setting conditions on whom they can live with and where, said Capt. Chris Kench.

City considers sex offender restrictions like those adopted in other towns

But neighbors said Huot shouldn't be allowed to share an apartment that children frequent and to live in a neighborhood filled with children and nearby schools.

"This building has 13 children (living inside) who are under 13 years old. This building is way too close to her," said Jean Marie Emmons, 26, who lives across the street at 87 Ashland St.

Emmons, who babysits seven young children from her home, said she routinely trolls the online sexual offender registry to see if any live nearby. She said she became alarmed when she learned Huot moved next door; she contacted Manchester police.

"The police said sexual offenders have rights ... But I have little kids here and a lot of them can't tell you if something is going on," Emmons explained. She said she printed out copies of Huot's sex offender registry listing and circulated it among children on the block.

"My little brother has never been here, and I'm not letting him come here," said first-floor tenant Lapierre, a booking agent for a record label.

Still, he and his roommate said Saturday's incident went too far, endangering everyone inside the three-story wood frame building.

Others accuse Huot of staring outside the front third-floor window and once taking pictures of an apartment across the street where a 12-year-old girl lives.

"It ain't me that does that," Huot said. "I don't have a camera."

Instead, Smith said they once spotted neighbors taking pictures of Huot.

"It's cruel and vindictive. This woman is just trying to live her life. Who are these people to judge her? They don't know her as a person," said Smith, who said she met Huot about a year ago.

Huot was convicted June 3, 1997 in Hillsborough County Superior Court and sentenced to four to 10 years in prison, Kench and Huot said. She was paroled June 7, 2004 and completed her parole Aug. 3, 2006, corrections officials said.

Huot, who last lived in Concord where she worked as a dishwasher at a local restaurant, said she completed sexual offender programs in prison and while on parole.

"I'm not going to do anything to anybody. I learned my lesson," explained Huot, who said she is undergoing counseling for abuse she suffered as a child. She said she purposely avoids children and waits for neighbors to go inside before leaving the house so she will not have to endure their jeers.

"I just try not to fight and let it go. Eventually, they are going to hopefully stop it, or I'm just going to have to move," Huot said. ..move.. by KATHRYN MARCHOCKI

Vigilante targets neighborhood sex offender


MANCHESTER, N.H. -- A registered sex offender is speaking out after neighbors threatened her with a lit scarecrow by her front door.

"I'm not going to do anything," Gloria Huot says, who served seven years in prison. She's moved five times in the last four years and doesn't want to move again.

Paul Hafford, 29, who lives across the street, is accused of lighting a scarecrow and throwing it on the front porch steps of Huot's three-family apartment building Saturday. Hafford denied it, though he admitted being there when it happened, police said in an affidavit.

Witnesses say about 15 people gathered shortly after 1 a.m. and began shouting "molester."

Hafford, who police said has a criminal history that includes four prior assault convictions, was arraigned on a felony reckless conduct charge in Manchester District Court on Monday. He was ordered held on $2,500 bail pending an Aug. 23 hearing.

Locals found out about Huot through public data online. Says one, "We don't need that around our kids."

The nearest elementary school is less than half a block away. ..more..

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