A convicted child molester was head-butted several times by another prisoner in the back of the courtroom just minutes after learning his sentence Thursday in Dover, New Hampshire.
News cameras were rolling when Christopher Elwell was sentenced 7 1/2 to 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl and was then seated in the back row of the courtroom. Also seated in the row was another prisoner, Josiah Davies, who was shackled.
Davies got up and started to repeatedly slam his head into Elwell’s head until being tackled by a court officer. Davies was awaiting arraignment and a hearing on a probation violation.
A Strafford County Attorney’s Office official told WMUR that the two men did not know each other and that Davies must have been set off by Elwell’s case.
“They described him showing them videos of sexual acts similar to the ones that she had done,” Assistant Strafford County Attorney Emily Conant said.
Davies didn’t help his cause at all by his actions. The incident is under investigation by the Strafford County Sheriff’s Office, and Conant said he could face 3 ½ to seven years in prison.
Elwell admitted in court Thursday that the allegations against him were true. He had initially denied that he had assaulted the little girl. Convicted on a different charge in 2008, Elwell was required to register as a sex offender. He pleaded guilty to failing to do so.
The sexual assault happened on June 24-25 in Dover when the little girl went to a home where Elwell was staying.
The girl’s mother believes Elwell got off with a light sentence and is fearful that he will sexually assault others when he is released from prison, Conant told the judge.
The judge seemed to be reluctant to grant the plea bargain, WMUR reported, but said by doing it so he would spare the young victim of having to testify during the trial and having to relive the events.
When Elwell is released, he will not be allowed to have any unsupervised contact with juveniles