State Sen. Jeff Woodburn Arrested On Domestic Violence, Assault Charges

Aug 2, 2018

Credit Allegra Boverman

State Senator Jeff Woodburn has been arrested on charges of domestic violence and simple assault.

The Attorney General alleges that Woodburn, a Democrat from Whitefield, struck and bit his partner on multiple occasions, between 2017 and June of this year.

(Read a statement from the New Hampshire Attorney General below.)

Woodburn also faces counts of criminal trespass and criminal mischief for allegedly kicking in the door to his partner's house and entering without her permission.

Woodburn is scheduled to be arraigned August 20th in Lancaster District Court.

In a statement released through a spokesperson last evening, following several hours of mounting condemnation and calls to resign from members of his own party, Woodburn said he plans to “fully address and defend against these charges in court."

Woodburn is in his third term in the state Senate, where he is the Democratic leader.

In an email to reporters Thursday, State Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley called on Woodburn to resign. In a joint statement issued by the Senate Democratic Caucus, Woodburn's colleages also called for his resignation, saying they had "zero tolerance for any forms of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence."

The statement continued, "The allegations against Senator Woodburn are serious and cannot be tolerated anywhere across our country - especially not in the New Hampshire State Senate. Senator Woodburn is entitled to full due process, but we jointly call on him to resign effective immediately."

Gov. Chris Sununu and Senate President Chuck Morse also called on Woodburn to resign because of the charges.

The charges were brought forward by the state's public integrity unit, which handles "crimes committed by state, county, and local government officials."

Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoff Ward, who leads that unit, says his office is handling the allegations against Woodburn as they would against any other individual. 

“Obviously he is a sitting state senator but that doesn’t impact the way in which we evaluate the evidence and make charging decisions,” Ward said Thursday night.

Ward says Woodburn turned himself into law enforcement at the Concord Police Station at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon and was processed there in the hours that followed. He was later released on bail – for $500 cash and $10,000 personal recognizance – and ordered not to contact the victim or her family. An arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 20 in Lancaster Circuit Court.

The news of Woodburn’s arrest was first made public by the New Hampshire Democratic Party, which issued a press release calling on him to resign roughly 15 minutes before the state formally announced the charges in a press release.

Read the AG's statement: