Final sex assault trial for ex-officer set for March

  • Robert Magoon, 75, of Tilton arrives for a sentencing hearing at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord on July 28. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor file

Monitor staff
Published: 11/29/2017 3:51:44 PM

A former police officer convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl and a disabled woman is scheduled to stand trial once again in March on similar charges.

Robert Magoon, 75, of Tilton is serving a combined 25- to 60-year state prison sentence as a result of his convictions in both cases. He was found guilty in separate trials of sexually assaulting the woman and of molesting an 8-year-old girl at the Pines Community Center in Northfield, where he worked as a maintenance supervisor for 15 years.

Prosecutors allege the young girl was one of seven children – between the ages of 6 and 13 – whom Magoon assaulted between August 2012 and May 2016 during the community center’s before-school program. Six children have yet to testify against Magoon, but are scheduled to do so during a two-week trial that will begin with jury selection March 12.

A Merrimack County Superior Court judge granted a prosecutor’s request this fall to consolidate the six cases still pending against Magoon, rather than proceed with separate trials. The request was granted at the objection of defense attorneys who argued that a single trial would create unfair prejudice against Magoon and bolster the state’s case overall.

Judge John Kissinger Jr. wrote in his September order that the court will take additional precautions to ensure a fair trial, such as assembling “a larger than usual jury pool,” permitting extended questioning of prospective jurors and permitting attorneys posing those questions more latitude. Attorneys will also work with the judge to accommodate any concerns by crafting very specific jury instructions that require consideration of each charge independently from the others.

As Magoon awaits that final trial, he has also asked the New Hampshire Supreme Court to review his convictions for aggravated felonious sexual assault involving the 8-year-old girl. Oral arguments before the high court have not yet been scheduled.

Magoon previously worked as a police officer in Concord and Franklin.

  Editor’s note: This story has been updated to accurately reflect the terms of Magoon’s sentence. (Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)

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