BARRE — The alleged ringleader of a central Vermont gang who is accused of sexually assaulting his underage followers has picked up additional charges of sex assault on a 14-year-old girl.
James A. Manning, 21, aka “Rabbit,” of Barre, pleaded innocent to four counts of felony sexual assault on a victim under 16 on Tuesday in Washington County criminal court in Barre.
He is already facing two counts of felony sexual assault on a victim under 16 and a misdemeanor charge of unlawful mischief.
If convicted of all the charges, Manning faces a maximum of 120½ years in prison and a $60,500 fine.
According to an affidavit filed Tuesday, the 14-year-old girl told police she and Manning had intercourse three times and oral sex “plenty” of times over a period of two months, from November to January.
The girl told police Manning would manipulate her by threatening to kill himself whenever she would try to leave him, according to the affidavit. She also said he ignored her and turned his back to her when he tried to have sex with her at the end of November and she said no.
According to the police affidavit in the original case, Manning was in charge of a group called the Brotherhood Mafia that started in Burlington and moved to Rutland and then Barre. Police say a 15-year-old member of the group told them he saw Manning sexually assault a 14-year-old boy as a form of initiation into the group.
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