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Robert Joubert testifies for first time in his own defense

Robert Joubert

Robert Joubert

Former Concord area youth baseball coach Robert Joubert testified yesterday that he could not have molested one of his former players, as prosecutors allege, because he was impotent during the years he knew the boy.

Defending himself on the fourth day of his trial in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, Joubert said he never abused the boy and insisted he is not the man shown assaulting him in a videotape the police found in Joubert’s possession. The tape, recorded between 2002 and 2004, shows the boy, between 10 and 12, touching the erect penis of an unidentified man off-camera.

Joubert, testifying for the first time since his arrest in 2012, said he was unable to achieve an erection during the years the video was made. He lived with the boy and his mother during those years, and coached him on a Hillsboro youth baseball team.

“Is that you in the video?” Joubert’s public defender, James Quay, asked.

“No,” Joubert replied. “It’s some fat guy.”

Joubert, 60, is accused of molesting the boy in Concord, Pembroke and Henniker. He denied all those allegations yesterday and said everyone who has testified against him – including the victim, now in his early twenties – is lying.

“Do you think this is a conspiracy?” asked Assistant County Attorney David Rotman.

“I’m not sure what it is,” Joubert said. “But it’s not true.”

Joubert is accused of molesting several young boys over two decades. His first trial, on federal charges of possessing child pornography and sexually exploiting the same boy, ended in November with convictions on all counts. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison last month.

Joubert testified that he and the boy’s mother dated while he lived with them – a claim the mother has previously denied. He said that was partly why he moved in with the two.

“Initially I thought, you know, moving in was a good deal – 600 dollars a month I was paying her,” Joubert said. “She needed the help. I was interested in her. I was interested in doing baseball lessons with her kid, sure. I don’t see anything wrong with any of those things.”

He said he and the child had formed a bond, but it was strictly mentor-pupil in nature. He said he helped the boy with his homework, took him on outings and took him for visits with his father, who was remarried at the time.

“His mother could have brought him to his dad’s house,” Joubert told Rotman. “His dad could have come pick him up. He was married at the time – his wife could have come pick him up. None of them did.”

“But this sap,” he continued, referencing himself. “I was the sucker.”

Rotman later questioned Joubert’s reasons for coaching. “You never had any kids on these teams?” he asked.

“That’s correct. That’s my devotion to baseball, Mr. Rotman.”

That’s what it is?” Rotman asked.

“I love teaching baseball,” Joubert replied. “That’s exactly what it is.”

Joubert’s continued testimony and closing arguments are expected today.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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