It’s just the beginning for the prosecution as a Seabrook man pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy to harass New Hampshire Public Radio, becoming the second suspect to change pleas, according to court records.
The case is seemingly connected to reporting NHPR did on sexual assault allegations involving former Granite Recovery Center CEO Eric Spofford. Lead NHPR reporter Lauren Chooljian and NHPR News Director Dan Barrick were among the victims of the vandalism.
Michael Waselchuck, 36, of Seabrook, agreed to plead to federal charges last week for conspiracy to commit stalking through interstate travel and the use of a facility of interstate commerce. His co-conspirator, Tucker Cockerline, 32, of Salem, pleaded guilty to identical charges in December.
That leaves pending cases against two suspects in the conspiracy: Keenan Saniatan, 36, of Nashua, and the alleged organizer, Eric Labarge, 46, of Nashua.
Labarge is the long-time associate of Spofford’s who allegedly initiated the vandalism and harassment plans after NHPR’s stories about Spofford were first published. Spofford has denied any connection to the vandalism, just as he’s denied the sexual assault allegations.
All four men are being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. According to prosecutors, Labarge solicited Cockerline to vandalize one of the victim’s former homes in Hanover in April 2022. Cockerline allegedly spray-painted the word “C*NT” in large red letters on the front door and allegedly threw a brick through an exterior window of the home.
Later in that same month, Saniatan allegedly agreed to vandalize another victim’s home in Concord and the home of the first victim’s parents in Hampstead. Saniatan allegedly spray-painted the same offensive word in large red letters on the front door and threw a large rock at the exterior of the Concord home. Saniatan allegedly threw a softball-sized rock through a front exterior window of the first victim’s parents’ home and once again spray-painted the profanity in large red letters, this time on a garage door.
In May 2022, Labarge allegedly solicited Cockerline to vandalize the parent’s home in Hampstead again, as well as the first victim’s home in Melrose, Mass. Cockerline, in turn, allegedly recruited Waselchuck. Cockerline allegedly spraypainted the word “C*NT” in large red letters on one of the garage doors of the Hampstead home and left a brick on the ground near the front door. Several hours later, Waselchuck allegedly threw a brick through an exterior window of the Melrose home and painted the phrase “JUST THE BEGINNING” in large red letters on the front of the house.
Spofford is not charged with any alleged role in the vandalism. His adamant denial of Chooljian’s reporting on the sexual assault allegations resulted in a doomed defamation lawsuit. Last month, Rockingham Superior Court Judge Daniel St. Hilaire finally dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning Spofford cannot file a new complaint in the matter.