For Immediate Release
February 12, 2009
Assistant Attorney General Tracy M. Culberson
Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Unit
Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte today announced the conviction of Aaron Snyder, age 34, for domestic assault and three counts of receiving stolen property. The victim was the defendant's mother.
Snyder, age 34, of Manchester, NH, was found guilty after trial in the Manchester District Court on February 11, 2009. The Attorney General's Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Unit, a specialized unit that was created in 2004 to prosecute cases of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation, prosecuted the case.
In July 2008, the elderly victim called the Manchester Police Department to report that Snyder had physically assaulted her by grabbing her arms during an argument. The victim, who was suffering from terminal cancer, required hospitalization as a result of the assault. The defendant was arrested later that same day and admitted that he grabbed his mother's arms. Detectives from the Manchester Police Department's Domestic Violence Unit discovered that Snyder had recently pawned several pieces of jewelry at a Manchester Pawn Shop. Detectives determined that the pieces of jewelry belonged to the defendant's mother and that the defendant stole them and pawned them without her knowledge. Two of the pieces of jewelry were recovered. The third piece, a cameo that had been passed down through the victim's family and had great sentimental value to the victim, was not recovered.
The victim, weakened by the terminal cancer, had to be transported to and from the courthouse by ambulance. Paramedics and a nurse stood by while she testified that the defendant assaulted her and stole jewelry that she kept in a jewelry box in her bedroom.
National statistics suggest that only 1 in 12 cases of elder abuse ever come to the attention of authorities. "Victims, oftentimes out of fear, embarrassment, or dependence upon the abuser are reluctant to report the abuse, and as a result, suffer in silence", Attorney General Ayotte said. "It is my sincere hope that the victim's strength and courage to report the abuse and testify in spite of her terminal illness will encourage other elderly victims of abuse to reach out for help."
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 8, 2009 in the Manchester District Court.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301