First YDC Criminal Suspect Heads To Trial; Another Suspect Affidavit To Be Released

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AG Booking photo

Victor Malavet


After years of secrecy surrounding the Sununu Youth Services Center cases then called YDC, the public is going to start learning more about the nightmarish abuse that’s left more than 1,400 victims seeking justice. 

In the coming weeks a previously sealed arrest warrant affidavit is set to be made public, and the trial against another suspect is scheduled to begin. 

Victor Malavet will be the first criminal suspect to go to trial among the 11 charged with abusing children incarcerated in the state’s now notorious youth detention system when he worked there.

Jury selection starts Aug. 21 in Malavet’s case in Merrimack Superior Court in Concord. The 61-year-old Gilford man is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a teen girl held inside the Youth Detention Services Unit in Concord in 2001. 

Malavet faces seven counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault for raping the teen girl. According to reporter Pat Grossmith, who covered Malavet’s initial court hearing for Manchester InkLink, YDC officials suspected at the time he had an inappropriate relationship with the girl.

Fellow staffers reported an inappropriate relationship and YDC leadership placed Malavet under investigation. The alleged victim reportedly lied during the 2001 investigation to protect Malavet. Though nothing came of the investigation, he was transferred to the Youth Development Center (YDC) in Manchester to separate him from the alleged victim.

Since the state created the YDC Task Force in 2019, only 11 men have been indicted out of hundreds of alleged abusers identified by the victims. No charges have been brought against any suspect since 2021, when the 11 men were indicted.

Since the indictments were handed up, the case against Frank Davis evaporated after he was found incompetent to stand trial. 

This week, Hillsborough Superior Court — North Judge Will Delker ordered the release of the police affidavit for suspect Lucien Poulette. Poulette, 69, of Auburn, is charged with 36 counts related to his alleged sexual abuse of several boys while Poulette worked as a house leader for YDC in the 1990s.

David Meehan, one of the alleged YDC victims, is seeking Poulette’s arrest warrant affidavits, which had been under seal. Delker’s June 24 ruling states there is no compelling reason to keep the documents sealed now that Poulette was indicted by a grand jury, and the public has a right to see how the justice system works.

“It is essential for public confidence in the criminal justice system for the public to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the case marshalled by the State against a defendant and how the courts respond to the legal issues involved these matters. Screening this information from the public in the case at bar runs counter to the goal of accountability embodied by Part I, Article 8 and New Hampshire case law,” Delker wrote.

The arrest warrant affidavits are set to be made public in 10 days barring any legal challenge from Poulette’s defense team. But Delker is going further and ordering the release of 18 motions in the case that he says were improperly sealed and kept from the public.

“The Court is concerned about the scope of litigation in this case that is being conducted out of the public eye. With the exception of the State’s joinder motions (Docs. 95, 96, 102, 106), it does not appear that the parties have complied with the requirements of Rule of Criminal Procedure 50 to file redacted and unredacted pleadings that only partially contain confidential information. Moreover, other than a generic citation to the protective order as the basis for the motion to seal pleadings (see, e.g., Doc. 201), it is not clear that some of these pleadings contain anything that is confidential,” Delker wrote.

Delker is giving all parties 15 days to go through the 18 motions and determine what, if anything, should remain sealed. The burden to demonstrate the documents should not be made public will be on the party seeking the seal, Delker ordered.

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