New Hampshire’s Democratic Senator Jeff Woodburn has been arrested for domestic violence charges after he allegedly bit a woman on multiple occasions and forced his way into her locked home by Concord police.
Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn, 53, of Whitefield was charged with four counts of simple assault, two counts of domestic violence, two counts of criminal mischief and one count of criminal trespassing, the office said.
The Attorney General alleges that Woodburn, a Democrat from Whitefield, struck and bit his partner on multiple occasions, between 2017 and June of this year.
(Read a statement from the New Hampshire Attorney General
“This afternoon, I learned that a warrant had been issued for my arrest. I voluntarily responded to the police station, cooperated with law enforcement during the booking process, and was released. I intend to fully address and defend against these charges in court,” he said.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party has urged Woodburn to resign, as did the state’s Democratic congressional delegation and members of the state Senate Democratic Caucus.
“The New Hampshire Democratic Party stands firm in our belief that any form of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence is completely unacceptable behavior for anyone, let alone our public officials who should all be held to a higher standard,” said State Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley.
Woodburn also faces counts of criminal trespass and criminal mischief for allegedly kicking in the door to his partner’s house and entering without her permission.
Woodburn is scheduled to be arraigned August 20th in Lancaster District Court.
Woodburn is in his third term in the state Senate, where he is the Democratic leader
In an email to reporters this afternoon, State Democratic Chairman Ray Buckley called on Woodburn to resign. In a joint statement issued by the Senate Democratic Caucus, Woodburn’s colleages also called for his resignation, saying they had “zero tolerance for any forms of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or domestic violence.”
The statement continued, “The allegations against Senator Woodburn are serious and cannot be tolerated anywhere across our country – especially not in the New Hampshire State Senate. Senator Woodburn is entitled to full due process, but we jointly call on him to resign effective immediately.”
“This morally reprehensible, violent behavior has no place in public service, or anywhere else. Domestic violence will not be tolerated in New Hampshire,” Sununu said after the announcement. “Senator Woodburn must resign. Immediately.”
The investigation was carried out solely by the attorney general’s office, said Ward, who declined to say how long it had proceeded ahead of the arrest.
The office obtained a criminal warrant Wednesday evening, Ward said. Woodburn was served that warrant sometime Thursday, and chose to turn himself in to Concord police at 3:30 p.m.
Numerous Democratic officials released statements calling for a resignation Thursday, including gubernatorial candidates Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand, the state’s full Congressional delegation and eight out of the remaining nine Senate Democratic caucus members.
Republicans also condemned the alleged behavior, with state party chairman Wayne MacDonald and Senate President Chuck Morse urging resignations.
Woodburn, a third-term senator, represents 58 towns in the North Country and has led the Democratic Senate caucus since 2014.
In a statement following the announcement, the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence expressed support for the victim.
“These charges are serious,” said Lyn Schollett, executive director for the coalition. “New Hampshire communities expect elected officials to uphold the laws they pass. We stand by this victim and all survivors in accessing resources and support and seeking justice.”