N.H. police chief arrested, accused of sexually harassing subordinate

Litchfield Police Chief Benjamin Sargent allegedly asked a female officer to come to his home on duty and bring wine.

A New Hampshire police chief has been arrested after allegedly sexually harassing a subordinate, the state attorney general’s office announced Thursday.

Litchfield Police Chief Benjamin Sargent, 43, was arrested for official oppression, a Class B misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,200, Attorney General John M. Formella’s office said in a press release.

Sargent could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Hudson, New Hampshire resident is accused of committing “an unauthorized act, which purported to be an act of his office, with a purpose to benefit himself or another or to harm another, by sexually harassing a subordinate in violation of official policy.” 


The act in question happened between Dec. 31, 2021 and Jan. 1, 2022, according to the press release. Formella’s office did not provide further details.

A probable cause statement filed in the case, however, outlined allegations that Sargent harassed a female officer in his department, allegedly telling her that he had a “crush” on her, according to The Boston Globe. Sargent also allegedly asked the officer to come to his home after she finished responding to a call on duty and told her to bring wine, the Globe reported.

According to the court document, Sargent repeatedly told the officer that he had a “[officer’s first name] problem.”

Speaking to an outside investigator, Sargent “acknowledged making knowing and purposeful comments to [the officer] but disputed the purpose of his comments,” the probable cause statement said, according to the Globe.

“Sargent did not dispute inviting [the officer] to his house and to bring wine,” the statement said, according to the Globe. “Sargent admitted to telling the officer he had a ‘[officer’s first name] problem,’ but denied that it had any romantic significance.”

Sargent went on leave in January and was replaced by an acting chief amid an investigation, according to WMUR.


In 2014, Sargent’s ex-wife filed a lawsuit accusing several police officers in Hudson — where she once worked as a dispatcher — of “willfully failing to protect” her from domestic violence that Sargent allegedly committed, The Telegraph reported. In her complaint, she alleged that Sargent repeatedly abused and threatened her. A judge sided with the defendants. 

Sargent has been released on personal recognizance bail and is scheduled for arraignment on Jan. 12 at 8:15 a.m., according to Formella’s office.


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