Sheriff arrested for sexual assault

Following an investigation that began this winter, the Vermont State Police on Tuesday, June 28, arrested Peter Newton, 50, of Middlebury on multiple charges related to sexual and domestic assault. Newton is the elected sheriff of Addison County.

The Vermont State Police investigation started March 3 when detectives were assigned to follow up on a domestic disturbance reported to the Middlebury Police Department involving Newton and a person with whom he was in a relationship. The disturbance was reported in the early morning hours of Feb. 26 at Newton’s home in Middlebury.

Subsequently, the state police spoke with the victim, a 35-year-old woman, on multiple occasions and developed probable cause for the offenses listed above. The case’s lead investigator was assigned from VSP’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations – Troop A West, St. Albans Barracks to avoid any potential conflicts of interest in pursuing the matter. The Vermont State Police investigation was reviewed by the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office for a determination on the appropriate charges. The Addison County State’s Attorney’s Office recused itself from the case.

Newton was taken into custody Tuesday morning while he was conducting contractor work at a construction job site in Middlebury. He is expected to be arraigned later today. Details of the arraignment time and location are not yet available, and will be provided in an update to this release as soon as possible.

Anyone with information that may be relevant to this investigation is asked to contact the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations at the St. Albans Barracks at 802-524-5993. Tips also may be submitted online anonymously at

The Vermont State Police is unable to comment further at this time. The affidavit of probable cause will be filed with the court and made public following Newton’s arraignment.

Categories: Crime

7 replies »

  1. Has anyone thought it strange how it is that formerly respected men seem to get charged for sexual assault? They seem to be the LEAST LIKELY individuals. I mean, the former fire chief in Waterbury Vermont, this elected sheriff. And it’s not only first responders; remember Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanagh? Certainly, there are valid cases, but this is looking more and more orchestrated to me. Remember the big flap over Antonio Brown when he was on the Patriots? He got released after sexual assault cases that ended up going nowhere but with huge money payouts so he could get on with his life. It took more than a year out of his playing career. And now there is Dashaun Watson on the Cleveland Browns. Settled a whole bunch of cases with a few still left. At this point, I do not think any of these men sexually assaulted any of these women. It seems to be a quick way to get money and to tarnish others.

  2. Did anyone “Red Flag” This guy and take all the guns out of the house? did they ban him from having a duty gun?

  3. Remember that “every woman deserves to be believed”, unless the alleged perpetrator is a democrat. So, what is left to be ascertained is the political affiliation of the Sheriff to determine his guilt or innocence. Maybe the legal process should be moved to another County? A change of venue to Chittenden County under the auspices of State’s Attorney Sarah George would assure that the case be treated fairly and objectively since she has never been known to demonstrate any overt bias against law enforcement professionals…

  4. “Until Proven Guilty” when there’s THIS much press coverage? Absent any evidence of bruising, a rape kit, corroborating witnesses, etc. it’s a he said she said situation, no? And Jane’s right about these “red-flag” laws where anyone, maybe even anonymously, can bring THAT hammer down & there goes one’s 2nd Amendment rights out the window..Don’t get me wrong..These are SERIOUS charges here..But he must have a very clean “record” to be in his job I would think, LEO’s must be thoroughly checked out just to DO that kind of work, I’m sad for all involved.

  5. I’m glad the woman was believed.
    We usually are not when it comes to ‘upstanding males in the community’ – “Oh, THEY wouldn’t do thaaaat!”
    The level of obfuscation, coverup and downright narcissistic personality it takes to keep this hidden …is a vocation, and likely a turn as part of ‘the game.’
    This woman, however, will probably have to leave the state, thanks to all you ‘defenders of justice’ backing this pervert.
    After all, we have a State senator who has NOT sued the author of the book TRANCE FORMATION OF AMERICA where he is named as sexually grooming her daughter – here in Vermont.
    The State of Eugenics… eyes wide shut, by the comments here.
    No WONDER pedophilia and sexual perversion are being legalized here.