77-year-old sex offender denied bid for early release from N.H. State Prison

LACONIA — A Belknap County Superior Court judge has denied early prison release to a former Laconia man who was convicted on sexually assaulting his 8-year-old granddaughter in 2002.
Judge James O'Neill ruled Roger Heath, 77, would not be released early because the victim and her father objected, he failed to accept responsibility, and excessive absences and obfuscate behavior in violation of the Sexual Offender Program.
"As represented above, the court also received testimony from the defendant, who while apologizing to the victim, did not convince the court of either his genuine remorse or rehabilitation," O'Neill wrote.
Heath was sentenced to serve six to 20 years in the New Hampshire State Prison by Judge Harold Perkins on May 13, 2013. Part of the conditions of his sentence regarding possible parole included completing the recommended sexual offender program.
Heath's lawyer, Lawrence Vogelman argued Heath's failing health prevented him from completing the program. Vogelman provided an evaluation from Dr. Eric Mark who in 2012 said "(Heath) would pose a very low risk of recidivism and could be maintained in the community with routine supervision and precautions.
O'Neill also said the state-submitted testimony of Judith Mann, who works at the N.H. Department of Corrections and a Clinical Mental Health Case Worker, cited different reasons why Heath didn't complete the program.