New Hampshire criminal defense attorneys Richard Guerriero and Ted Lothstein have handled many sexual assault cases — both misdemeanors and felonies — in NH District and Superior Courts, in the United States District Court-NH (child pornography cases), and on appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Most sexual assault charges in NH are brought as felonies — the most serious being Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault, commonly referred to by prosecutors and defense lawyers as “AFSA.” The aggravating factor can relate to the nature of the assault (area touched and whether there was penetration), whether force or threat of force was used, the age of the alleged victim (under 13 are almost always AFSAs, even without penetration), and whether there was a so-called “pattern” of sexual assault even without penetration (two or more instances on different occasions, separated by at least two months but no more than five years apart).
Other types of sexual assault cases include Felonious Sexual Assault, a class B felony punishable by up to 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison — unless the complainant is under 13, in which case the higher penalty applies; and Sexual Assault, a class A misdemeanor.
Child pornography cases can be brought in either State court or federal court.
These cases are very stressful and difficult for the accused client for two reasons: the maximum prison sentence upon conviction is 10-20 years for each allegation of AFSA, and the State does not to have to present any proof of “corroboration.” That means if the alleged victim says it happened, that can be enough, even if there is no other witness, no physical evidence, no contemporaneous report that it happened to the police or to a counselor, very little opportunity to engage in the conduct, etc.
In these cases, an intense investigation into the potential motive of the complainant to fabricate is critical. If the complainant has a history of making false accusations, this history must be brought to light. Our lawyers won an appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, where the trial court had refused to allow defense counsel to cross-examine the complainant regarding an instance in the past where she falsely accused another man of sexual assault.
In the past, our lawyers have secured dismissals or not guilty verdicts in jury trials where clients were accused of Felony Sexual Assault and Misdemeanor Sexual Assault. We have also won reversal on appeal in cases where client had been convicted of Felony Sexual Assault, Misdemeanor Sexual Assault and Possession of Child Pornography.
Lothstein Guerriero takes the defense of sexually-based criminal charges very seriously — because we know how serious these accusations can be for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation about your case and how we can put our years of experience to work for you.
© 2017 Lothstein Guerriero, PLLC