Former Bedford school custodian accused of sexually assaulting child

Paul Feely, The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester
·1 min read

Feb. 17—A 71-year-old city man and former Bedford school custodian is facing a sexual assault charge after Manchester police say he sent inappropriate text messages referencing a child he knew, officials said.

Manchester police launched an investigation on Feb. 2 and arrested William Flanders after determining he had sexually assaulted the child — who is under the age of 13 — on multiple occasions over two years, officials said.

In a statement issued Wednesday evening, Bedford School Superintendent Michael Fournier said Flanders is no longer employed by the school district. Flanders has worked as a second-shift custodian in Bedford since 2007, according to Fournier.

"The charges filed against Mr. Flanders are not related to a Bedford student or any illegal activity in Bedford," the statement said.

"The safety of students is our highest priority," Fournier said. "As a result, we will review our policies and procedures around employees and student safety and make necessary adjustments. As a reminder, all of us are mandated reporters and should call 603-271-6562 if we suspect neglect or abuse."

Flanders was arrested Sunday on charges of criminal threatening and aggravated felonious sexual assault (pattern).

He was arraigned Tuesday and released on personal recognizance bail.