Judge continues $100,000 bail for Stocker; police cite witnesses in latest case

Ryan Stocker, in shackles, is escorted into court. All photos by Shawn Cunningham

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION

Windsor County Superior Court Judge Theresa DiMauro continued the $100,000 bail imposed on Ryan Stocker over the weekend as he appeared for arraignment Monday on new charges in the latest of five involving forced sexual contact over the last two years.

Stocker, who plead not guilty to the earlier charges, also entered a plea of not guilty to the latest ones.

These latest charges are kidnapping, attempted aggravated sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child in one incident that occurred in July 2015 in Ludlow. Ludlow Police arrested Stocker at his Chester home on Saturday.

State’s Attorney Heidi Remick told DiMauro that this case is strong and includes a number of witnesses who have corroborated segments of the victim’s story. She then asked that Stocker be held without bail pending his trial.

Defense attorney Melvin Fink asks that Stocker be released without bond but on previous conditions.

But defense attorney Melvin Fink requested that the previous conditions of release — without a monetary guarantee — remain in place.

Remick then pointed out that the other incident in the charging document, which occurred in June 2015, has been turned over to Rutland County authorities since it occurred in Mount Holly.

“Is this it or are there more investigations?” asked DiMauro

“There are two (more) potential cases being investigated,” said Remick.

DiMauro asked if the state had a time frame for the investigations but Remick said she was hesitant to say any more in court.

Saying that Stocker “certainly poses a risk to public safety” and considering the “multiplicity of offenses and given the nature and strength of the  state’s case,” DiMauro said she would exercise her discretion “perhaps for the last time,” and continued his $100,000 bail along with all the conditions of release previously imposed.

The right to set bail is at the judge’s discretion. Stocker could be released on $100,000 cash or by a surety bond, which generally could be gotten for 10 percent or $10,000.

Witnesses tell police what they saw, heard

An unidentified woman sitting in the front row of court sobs during Ryan Stocker’s arraignment on Monday.

According to court documents, the victim – who was 14 at the time of the July 2015 incident – was at a friend’s apartment in Ludlow. She told police she had been drinking but was not drunk when she decided to walk to the Cumberland Farms store. She said Stocker offered to walk with her and suggested that they should talk, guiding her off Main Street up High Street and behind the Baptist Church.

In a sworn statement, the victim said that Stocker kept trying to kiss and put his hands on her while she repeatedly said, “No, I don’t want to do that” and  “Can we go back? I just want to go back and see my friends.” According to the charging document, the victim told police that Stocker told her no and “something to the effect of ” we’re “not done.”

She also told police that Stocker would not let her go and tried to get her to touch his penis “by pulling her hand toward his crotch.” At some point, the victim said, she fell to the ground. She said that Stocker was grabbing her, and she lost her shoes and her nose ring was “ripped out.” While she was on the ground, the girl told police, Stocker was on top her kissing her and she kept telling him “you need to go. I’m not going to have sex with you.”

At some point Stocker got up to urinate and the girl ran toward her friend’s apartment. Stocker chased her and grabbed her, she told police. That’s when a friend of hers — Caleb Weissinger — drove up in a truck and Stocker told him that he and the girl were going “back to where we were.” When Weissinger got out of his truck, the girl told police, she ran to her friend’s apartment, where she related what had happened to several people there.

One of those people was Sara Stryhas. In her statement, she told police that after a while she became concerned when the girl and Stocker had not returned from the store and went to look for them along Main Street by bicycle. She returned to the apartment and asked others for help — including Weissinger, who went to search in a truck.

Stryhas told police she went out on Main Street and saw the girl running from High Street to Main and Stocker and Weissinger together on High Street. Stryhas told police the girl’s nose ring had been ripped out and she was bleeding. She added that the girl told her Stocker tried to pull down her pants.

In a separate interview with police, Weissinger told police he saw the girl walking at a “fast pace” on High Street when Stocker grabbed her from behind by the shoulder. He stated that the girl was “teary-eyed and appeared to be in distress.” Weissinger said Stocker told him that he and the girl “were trying to “hook up.’ ” Stocker, Weissinger told police, let go of the girl and she ran toward her friend’s apartment. Weissinger also told police that the girl told him that Stocker was attempting to force her to do things “that she did not want to do.”

According to police, the girl came forward following the earlier charges.

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