Crime and Justice

Ex-Landmark College student charged with sexual assault on campus

A New York man who had been a student at Landmark College in Putney is accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student. 

Victor Tomelden, 23, of Altamont, New York, had been the student government president at the school. Police say the sexual assault took place in his office on campus nearly a year ago.

Victor Tomelden. Photo courtesy of Vermont State Police

Tomelden pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Windham County Superior criminal court in Brattleboro to felony charges of sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct.

He was released on conditions, including that he should not contact the woman he is charged with sexually assaulting.

The woman told police that she was in Tomelden’s student government office expecting to be watching movies with him when he sexually assaulted her, according to an affidavit in the case filed by Vermont State Police Trooper Tyler Noyes.

Noyes wrote that the investigation began during the early morning hours on Oct. 25, 2020, when state police were contacted by Keene (New Hampshire) Mutual Aid that they were responding to a report of a sexual assault on the college’s campus. 

Tomelden, according to state police, turned himself in on Tuesday at the Westminster state police barracks.

The sexual assault charge brought against him carries a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.

John Pritchard, an attorney representing Tomelden, declined to comment when reached Thursday. 

Windham County Deputy State’s Attorney Dana Nevins said Thursday that it took nearly a year to file the charges, in part because of the need to obtain search warrants related to electronic messaging.

“There was some follow-up investigation based on that,” he said. 

“And, in these cases,” Nevins said, “it’s my practice to always have conversations with the victim to go through what this case will entail, what the process would ask of the victim, and see if they are supportive of moving forward before making the ultimate decision about whether we’re going to prosecute. That also took some time.”

Christopher Lenois, a Landmark College spokesperson, said Thursday that Tomelden is no longer a student at the school.

“Landmark College takes matters like this very seriously. Since the start of the investigation in October 2020 the college has been cooperating with authorities as well as following its own policies and procedures,” Lenois said, declining further comment.

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Alan J. Keays

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