"I work for the town of Raymond. No one will believe you," so sayeth one Robert Payette according to court testimony at his rape trial.
Payette was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in Raymond last year where he worked on the road crew.
Obviously there are several problems with Mr. Payette’s assertion:
1. Certain people in any NH town will not believe anything bad about a road crew employee, or any other public employee, who does favors for them with town equipment on town time – THAT is an undeniable fact played out in town after town, school after school, department after department. So Payette was correct in that sense if you judge by what occurs at Town and School Meetings.
2. People who do take issue with the actions of some public employees are often ostracized by the “clique” that runs most municipalities and schools and unless they want to sell their home and move away keeping quiet is often the best course. The free stuff and services crowd can get pretty nasty in our little democracies.
3. Mr. Payette must have thought rape was the same as activities like selling clean fill, secret plowing of private drives, padding overtime work hours, swapping cheap Chinese tools for the expensive town tools, working on private vehicles, or filling up the old pickup at the town pump - his mistake.
4. Mr. Payette will find his “I work for the town of Raymond” boast will not be of much use during the next 10 to 20 years in the state pen. The shoe will be on the other foot with Mr. Payette from now on – if the guys let him wear shoes, who knows, it may be high heals.