A St. Johnsbury woman has been charged with obstructing a police investigation into the reported sexual assault of a minor.
Cassandra Moody, 38, pleaded not guilty to felony obstruction of justice in Essex Superior Court on Friday. She was then released on conditions by Judge Michael J. Harris.
Vermont State Police said that in September of 2019 they were investigating the alleged sexual assault of a girl under the age of 16 in Essex County who disclosed to school staff that she had been “molested” by an adult male, according to court documents.
Essex Superior Court
Police were acting on a tip that came from the Vermont Department of Children & Families (DCF). Police also received a report that Moody had provided the alleged victim with cigarettes and alcohol on several occasions — allegations which Moody denied while being interviewed by investigators.
A few days later, state police received another report from DCF alleging that Moody had instructed the girl to lie to investigators about the alleged sexual assault.
“I learned this obstruction had occurred over phone calls between Cassandra and (the alleged victim),” wrote Vermont State Police Detective Tpr. Daniel Lynch in his affidavit filed in support of the charge.
On April 8, police took Moody into custody where she again denied that she had told the girl to lie to police about the alleged incident.
“After further questioning, she admitted that in a phone call, she said there were some things that she needed to lie about, but then explained that this statement was not in reference to this particular case, and in regards to another instance that she had heard of,” wrote Tpr. Lynch in his report.
Moody was living in Essex County when the alleged obstruction occurred but has since moved to St. Johnsbury.
If convicted of the charge Moody faces a possible sentence of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.