Ex-janitor appeals sex assault convictions to high court

  • Robert Magoon, 75, of Tilton arrives for his sentencing hearing at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord on Friday, July 28, 2017. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ

Monitor staff
Saturday, September 09, 2017

An ex-janitor convicted of sexually assaulting a child is asking the New Hampshire Supreme Court to review the case, while he awaits trial from prison on several similar charges.

Robert Magoon, 75, of Tilton, who worked at the Pines Community Center in Northfield, is appealing two of his aggravated felonious sexual assault convictions to the state’s highest court. A jury found Magoon guilty of sexually assaulting a child, now 9, during the center’s before-school program, where witnesses said he colored with children on his lap.

As that appeal moves forward, a Merrimack County Superior Court judge denied this week Magoon’s motion to set aside guilty verdicts on two other sexual assault charges involving an adult victim. The defense argued that the record of the woman’s testimony is not specific and clear enough to support the guilty findings, but Judge Diane Nicolosi disagreed.

As of Friday, the defense had not taken that case to the high court.

Magoon was convicted of a total of six counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, for separate incidents involving two different victims: a young girl and a 29-year-old woman. He stood trial on two separate occasions this past spring in Concord, with a jury returning guilty verdicts on all charges both times.

Despite the two trials, the case against Magoon is far from closed. The county attorney’s office plans to prosecute six additional cases against him. Attorneys hope to do so in one consolidated trial and not before separate juries.

Prosecutors say the young girl was one of seven children whom Magoon assaulted between August 2012 and May 2016 at the community center. Assistant Merrimack County Attorney Wayne Coull points to similarities between the cases and Magoon’s alleged victims, all children ranging in age from 7 to 13. Coull notes that the charged acts occurred between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. while students waited for transportation to school, and that the alleged abuse was carried out in the game room, where Magoon went after finishing his janitorial duties.

The state’s motion to consolidate is awaiting a decision by a judge. A hearing on the matter was held Aug. 10, at which time Judge John Kissinger Jr. said he would issue a decision within 30 days.

Magoon was sentenced in July to 25 to 60 years in state prison on four of his six convictions. He was not sentenced on the two aggravated felonious sexual assault convictions that he had asked Nicolosi to review. If his sentence stands, Magoon won’t be eligible for parole until he is 100 years old.