Rochester, NH Police Warning Parents About Man Who Allegedly Touched Girl
UPDATE: Paul Patsalis, the 76-year-old man wanted for possession of child sex abuse images and simple assault, has been taken into custody. We will keep you updated as new information comes in.
Police in Rochester are warning parents after a 76-year-old man who was being investigated for possession of child sex abuse images was allegedly seen touching a five-year-old girl in a public playground area.
Paul Patsalis, 76, of Rochester, had been under investigation after police received a tip about him possessing inappropriate images of children.
On Monday, Patsalis was seen talking to the five-year-old girl at Rochester Commons, which has a playground, bandstand, walking loop and sports field.
"It was then noticed that Patsalis was holding her stuffed animal while what appeared to be touching or rubbing her back. Patsalis was confronted and left the area in a black Volkswagen," Police Capt. Todd Pinkham wrote in a Facebook post published on Wednesday.
Pinkham said during an interview on Wednesday afternoon that the girl's mother is the person who reported the touching incident to police.
Pinkham said they handle numerous child pornography and simple assault cases per year, but decided to put out the warning because Patsalis is acting so brazenly.
"What elevates it for us was the fact that that this person who is currently under investigation was now reportedly touching a minor in a common park," Pinkham said.
Anyone with information about Patsalis’ whereabouts is asked to contact the Rochester Police Department at 603-330-7128.
People can also provide information and remain anonymous by calling the Rochester Crime Line at 603-335-6500 or text to: CRIMES (274637) Body of Text: TEXT4CASH + your tip. Cash rewards are offered for information that leads to an arrest.
If you or your child is the victim of domestic or sexual assault, there is help. HAVEN has offices in Portsmouth, Epping and Rochester. You can call their 24-hour confidential support line at 1-603-994-SAFE (7233).
Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.