A 19-year-old New Hampshire man accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl when he was 17 is expected to plead guilty next month as part of a negotiated plea deal with the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office, the seacoastonline.com is reporting.
Jacob Knipstein has been charged with three counts of felonious sexual assault and one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault.
According to a sworn affidavit, a Newmarket Middle School resource officer contacted police after learning that an eighth grader had a sexual relationship with Knipstein, who was 17 and a junior in high school at the time.
Investigators interviewed the girl on Feb. 14 and she identified the teen as someone she befriended in the sixth grade when she was around age 10 or 11.
The girl told police that the friendship turned sexual in nature in April 2013 when she was 12 years old. The affidavit reports that the sexual encounters happened at Knipstein's Bennet Way apartment, and during one of the alleged assaults, the two smoked marijuana.
Police interviewed Knipstein who admitted to having sex with the girl between April and August 2013, approximately "three or four times total," the affidavit said. The indictments state that the four alleged assaults occurred between April and October 2013, the seacoastonline reported.
Details of the plea deal will remain sealed pending Knipstein's July 21 hearing.
Each felonious sexual assault charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 7 years and a $4,000 fine. The aggravated felonious sexual assault carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and a $4,000 fine. A sentencing hearing for Knipstein has not yet been scheduled.