Protesters Gather In Support of Dover Officer’s Wife, Charged With Domestic Violence
Dozens of people gathered in Dover Saturday to demand justice for Sarah Letendre, the woman who was charged with domestic assault after her Dover police officer husband allegedly broke four of her ribs.
“We want the charges dropped; they were trumped up charges to begin with,” said Marci Hardy, one of the organizers of the rally. “Everything about it was wrong.”
Sarah Letendre was arrested on July 11 following a reported domestic violence incident at her Rollinsford home with her husband, R.J. Letendre, a Dover police officer. She was later charged with violating a protective order in the case. She allegedly fled from police, but turned herself in on Thursday after Rollinsford police obtained an arrest warrant.
However, she has since spoken out about the case on Facebook.
“My husband, who is a Dover police officer and former MMA fighter, broke 4 of my ribs on Saturday…I was arrested,” she wrote.
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Hardy said that since the incident Sarah Letendre has not had custody of her two children.
That fact was enough to bring Emilie Lafleur-Kief, who has known Sarah Letendre since they waitressed together years ago in Maine, to the protest. She said her friend needs support.
“This is about a mother being kept away from her children,” said Lafleur-Kief. “She needs all of our voices.”
Sarah Lentendre’s arrest has sparked a movement of people calling for her husband to be investigated and charged. Hardy said police need to start by dropping the charges against Sarah Letendre, who is reportedly “holed up” after being released on personal recognizance bail.
Her sister, Jessica Newman, said in a GoFundMe appeal to cover legal expenses that R.J. Letendre has a history of abusing his wife.
“He has abused his power as a police officer in order to have her charged with assault in that incident, and he has used his influence to get the Rollinsford NH police department (where they live) to bring a whole host of charges against her,” Newman wrote.
Hardy got involved after seeing Sarah Letendre’s story on Facebook. State representatives Andrew Bouldin and Amanda Bouldin attended the protest after seeing the social media coverage of Sarah Letendre’s arrest.
“It’s ridiculous that a domestic violence victim was arrested because her husband is a police officer in Dover,” Andrew Bouldin said.
Dover Police Chief William Breault said earlier this week that the department is conducting an internal investigation into the matter, and R.J. Letendre is currently taking vacation time. He also said the Strafford County Attorney's office will review the matter. The Dover Police Department did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
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