EPPING — A Massachusetts teenager was charged with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault in connection with two incidents that allegedly took place on the same day last month in Salem and Epping.
Eliezer Tuttle, 18, of 117 Prescott St., North Andover, is charged with five counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, criminal restraint, second-degree assault for strangulation and four counts of simple assault in connection with two alleged sexual assaults of a 17-year-old female. The first assault allegedly occurred Feb. 17 at a Salem IHOP restaurant parking lot and the second later that day in the O’Neil Cinemas parking lot at the Brickyard Square shopping center in Epping.
Tuttle, who goes by “Eli,” was arraigned in Rockingham Superior Court March 11 and waived his extradition. According to his bail order, Tuttle was denied bail and the document cites his probation for additional sexual assault charges in Massachusetts.
According to Epping police Detective Alexander McCann’s affidavit, Tuttle was involved with two sexual assaults and two indecent assault and battery charges of a person age 14 or older.
According to an affidavit from Salem police Detective Michael Geha, Tuttle arranged to hang out with the teenage girl Feb. 17 at the mall in Salem and go to a movie in Epping later that day. The victim's mother later told detectives Tuttle picked her daughter up in a black Jeep with a Massachusetts vanity license plate, “TUTTLE” just before 1 p.m. and drove to the IHOP in Salem for lunch.
According to Geha’s affidavit, upon arriving at the restaurant Tuttle climbed into the back of the vehicle and when the girl asked what he was doing because she was hungry, he replied he was not hungry and pulled her into the back seat against her will and got on top of her.
The girl told Tuttle repeatedly to stop, according to Geha’s affidavit. The girl’s mother reportedly told Geha that Tuttle allegedly put his hand on her mouth to prevent her from speaking. He then allegedly pushed her against the rear driver-side door and choked her, according to the affidavit. Geha’s affidavit states Tuttle forced sexual intercourse.
McCann's affidavit notes a pattern of Tuttle’s alleged behavior: “Eli picks up the alleged victims in his Jeep, brings them to secluded areas of parking lots, moves to the back seats, and attempts to and/or completes sexual acts on them. After the alleged acts are completed he drops the victims off at home … he then begins to text message them apologizing for his actions.”
McCann’s affidavit states the victim's mother said her daughter “felt obligated to continue the date with (Tuttle)” after the alleged assault. McCann states while the two never entered the IHOP they saw a movie in Epping around 1:50 p.m.
Salem police Detective Robert Farah in his affidavit states after the movie Tuttle again drove to a secluded area of the parking lot, climbed in the back seat and picked her up to bring him with her. Tuttle attempted to engage in forced intercourse again but the victim said she was in too much pain and asked him to stop, according to Farah's affidavit.
Farah stated the victim, after telling her mother what happened the next day, went to Parkland Medical Center, where it was revealed she suffered multiple injuries as a result of the alleged assaults. The victim was interviewed by investigators at the state Childhood Advocacy Center in Derry Feb. 19, he stated.
Farah included an Instagram message thread allegedly between Tuttle and the victim in his affidavit:
“I wish I could have made better choices,” Tuttle allegedly wrote.
“But say it,” the victim allegedly responded.
“I (expletive) up I shouldn’t have said it… Done it* … Rape?” Tuttle allegedly wrote.
According to Farah’s affidavit, Salem police executed a search warrant of Tuttle's Jeep Feb. 26 and removed several items of evidentiary value.
Tuttle turned himself into Salem police on an outstanding arrest warrant March 8 and has been in custody since. He is next scheduled to appear in Rockingham Superior Court for a dispositional conference May 15.
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