By BEA LEWIS, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
CONCORD — A former police officer accused of sexually abusing children and a disabled woman waived his right to a speedy trial last week, and a judge has given the prosecutor 30 days to decide whether the state will seek separate trials for each of the alleged child victims or group them into one.
Robert Magoon, 74, of Northfield, is now facing 11 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, two counts of attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault, one count of felonious sexual assault and a misdemeanor charge of simple assault, involving eight alleged victims.
Following a Nov. 4 hearing in Merrimack County Superior Court, Judge Diana Nicolosi said the charges involving the disabled woman will be heard in one trial. If the prosecutor and the defense are unable to reach an agreement on whether the remaining charges will require seven separate trials, she gave the state until late December to file a
motion to consolidate.
Magoon was a part-time maintenance worker at the Pines Community Center in Northfield, which opened the doors for the children while they waited for school buses to pick them up.
Northfield Police Chief John Raffaelly said after receiving a single complaint about Magoon's alleged conduct with children in 2015, police began an investigation, but were unable to get enough evidence to support his
arrest. He said former Pines Director Jim Doane was notified about the accusation and Magoon was allegedly told to not be in the building alone with any children. Doane resigned shortly after Magoon's arrest.
In the wake of Magoon's arrest, the Pines Community Center has revamped its before-school program, added more video surveillance cameras and doesn't allow any children inside the building unless there are two staff members present.
The misdemeanor charge accuses Magoon of causing unprivileged physical contact with a 13 or 14-year-old girl by kissing her on the mouth between June 19, 2015, and Aug. 30, 2015.
The felonious sexual assault charge alleges that he intentionally touched the buttocks of a girl under age 13 for the purpose of sexual gratification between Aug. 31, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2015.
Seven of the aggravated rape charges accuse Magoon of engaging in various sex acts with a young woman who he knew, or had reason to know, had a disability, making her incapable of freely arriving at an independent choice as to whether or not to engage in sexual contact between Jan. 2, 2013, and April 30, 2014.
Five of the six other aggravated felonious sexual assault charges allege that Magoon victimized three other girls under age 13, over a period of more than two months or more and within a period of five years between Aug. 27, 2012, and April 1, 2015; between Aug. 31, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2015; between Aug. 26, 2014, and July 13, 2015; and twice between Aug. 31, 2015, and May 12, 2016, and between Aug. 26, 2014, and May 12, 2016.
Initially ordered held on $150,000 cash-only bail, Judge Nicolosi agreed to reduce it to $10,000 on the condition that Magoon be subject to electronic monitoring, that his place of residence be approved by Merrimack County Pretrial Services and that he not live where there was any shared curtilage with any families. He was also ordered to have no contact with the Pines Community Center, any of the alleged victims, or anyone under age 18. He was additionally prohibited from drinking any alcohol.
A status conference in the case is now scheduled to be held in mid-January. Public Defenders Erine Flinchbaugh and Hanna Kinne, who are representing Magoon, have indicated that they plan to challenge the admissibility of statements their client allegedly gave to police.
Judge Nicolosi set a Dec. 15 deadline for the defense to file a motion to suppress. Assistant Merrimack County Attorney Wayne Coull who is prosecuting the case, must file a response by Jan. 10.
A final pretrial hearing is now set or April 14, with a jury to be picked for at least one of the trials on May 1.
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