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James Houghton found guilty of sexual assault, incest

James Houghton was found guilty yesterday of nine counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and two counts of incest.

Houghton, 50, of Henniker, had been accused of raping a now-26-year-old nonblood relative several times beginning in 2004. All but one of the incidents occurred in his home on Craney Pond Road, where the woman also lived.

A jury delivered the verdict yesterday following a two-day trial in Merrimack County Superior Court. Defense attorneys had pressed the relative on several aspects of her story, questioning her about gifts and trips she accepted from Houghton despite his alleged assaults.

Houghton was convicted last year of nearly two dozen counts of possession of child pornography, charges not directly related to the relative’s claims. He is also accused of witness tampering and assaulting a Concord teen two years ago. It’s unclear how or whether those cases will proceed, given yesterday’s verdict.

Assistant County Attorney Rachel Harrington said a sentencing date has yet to be set.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319.)

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