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Former youth baseball coach Robert Joubert convicted of child porn possession, sexual exploitation of a child

  • Robert Joubert (center) turns to his lawyer as he is handcuffed following a  hearing on whether police can search Joubert's cellphone at Merrimack County Superior Court; Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Joubert, a former baseball coach, is being tried on charges of sexually assaulting several bchildren in Hillsborough, Merrimack and Federal courts.<br/><br/> (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

    Robert Joubert (center) turns to his lawyer as he is handcuffed following a hearing on whether police can search Joubert's cellphone at Merrimack County Superior Court; Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Joubert, a former baseball coach, is being tried on charges of sexually assaulting several bchildren in Hillsborough, Merrimack and Federal courts.

    (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

  • Lawyers for the state and for Robert Joubert argue whether police can search Joubert's cellphone at Merrimack County Superior Court; Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Joubert, a former baseball coach, is being tried on charges of sexually assaulting several children in Hillsborough, Merrimack and Federal courts.<br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

    Lawyers for the state and for Robert Joubert argue whether police can search Joubert's cellphone at Merrimack County Superior Court; Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Joubert, a former baseball coach, is being tried on charges of sexually assaulting several children in Hillsborough, Merrimack and Federal courts.
    (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

  • Robert Joubert (center) turns to his lawyer as he is handcuffed following a  hearing on whether police can search Joubert's cellphone at Merrimack County Superior Court; Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Joubert, a former baseball coach, is being tried on charges of sexually assaulting several bchildren in Hillsborough, Merrimack and Federal courts.<br/><br/> (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)
  • Lawyers for the state and for Robert Joubert argue whether police can search Joubert's cellphone at Merrimack County Superior Court; Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Joubert, a former baseball coach, is being tried on charges of sexually assaulting several children in Hillsborough, Merrimack and Federal courts.<br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

A jury convicted a former Concord area youth baseball coach yesterday in federal court on charges he possessed child pornography and sexually exploited a Hillsboro boy by making the boy engage in sexually explicit behavior so he could videotape it.

But yesterday’s verdict, delivered after about three hours of deliberation, is not the end of Robert Joubert’s legal trouble.

Joubert, 59, still faces criminal trials in Merrimack and Hillsborough counties, where he’s accused of sexually assaulting four boys between 1984 and 2002. He’s also facing a second federal charge alleging he took a boy to New York between 1996 and 1997 to engage in sexual activity.

Joubert faces 15 to 30 years in prison for each of the three sexual exploitation convictions and up to 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography. He is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court in Concord on Feb. 18 at 10 a.m.

During the three-day trial, jurors saw three video recordings of the Hillsboro boy being made to masturbate Joubert. The recordings were made between 2002 and 2004 when the boy was between 10 and 12 years old.

The jurors’ job was to decide whether Joubert, whose face is not seen on the videos, created the recordings, as federal prosecutors alleged. They also had to determine whether Joubert knowingly possessed the child pornography the police found in his Manchester home last year.

During the trial, jurors heard from the victim, now 21, who testified that it was Joubert who made the sexually explicit videos. Jurors also heard from the victim’s mother, who said that while Joubert lived with her and her son as a tenant, he was constantly videotaping her son.

In addition, jurors saw other videos of the victim, taken while he was watching television and playing a video game, in which the victim told “Bob” to stop filming him. The camera focused mostly on the victim’s face, mouth and hands.

The victim testified that it was Joubert he was talking to when he told “Bob” to stop filming him.

And, three men who say Joubert sexually assaulted them when they were boys, testified that they had similar experiences with Joubert.

In his closing argument yesterday, federal public defender Bjorn Lange told jurors that prosecutors had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that it was, indeed, Joubert who had made the sexually explicit videos.

“There is no question that Robert produced some of those videos,” Lange said, referring to the videos of the victim watching television and playing video games. “The critical question is who produced the sexually explicit videos.”

Lange did not identify another suspect but said the video camera was available to anyone who visited the victim’s Hillsboro home, including the men the victim’s single mother dated.

Lange also challenged the government’s evidence that Joubert “knowingly” possessed those tapes containing pornography. They were found in Joubert’s Manchester home in 2012 with his other belongings, but Lange argued that Joubert didn’t know they were there, a requirement for a conviction.

“Bob knew he was being investigated before the (tapes) were found,” Lange told jurors. “If Robert Joubert knew that those cassettes contained child pornography . . . he would have gotten rid of them. He did not know that he possessed the child pornography.”

In her closing argument yesterday, federal prosecutor Helen Fitzgibbon told jurors that while the evidence they had to look at was difficult, the verdicts shouldn’t be.

“Use your most valuable tool, which is your common sense,” she said.

She dismissed the defense’s argument that Joubert had made the non-sexually explicit films but that “someone else, some phantom” had spliced in the pornographic material.

“Your common sense will tell you that there’s only one person who made those videos,” she said.

(Annmarie Timmins can be reached at 369-3323 or atimmins@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @annmarietimmins.)

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