Trail of man accused of raping former girlfriend starts Monday

LACONIA — A Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that a Gilford man accused of raping his former girlfriend cannot let the jury see the family court records that show that he tried to get custody of a child he and the alleged victim have together.

The judge ruled that while Sargent Place resident Carroll Thompson's statements to family court cannot be introduced as such, his attorney will be allowed to question the alleged victim about Thompson's attempts to gain custody of their child.

In those family court pleadings, Thompson said that his reason for wanting custody of his child was because the alleged victim was a drug user. He intended on using them as a reason why she would fabricate a claim of rape against him.

While Thompson says the records are within the hearsay exceptions allowed at trial, the exception only applies if the person who made them is unavailable for the trial. The court determined that by claiming his Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination, Thompson made himself unavailable and shouldn't be allowed to benefit from creating his own unavailability.

Thompson also wanted recordings left by the alleged victim on his phone to be heard by the jury, but the court denied that too, saying that the statements don't indicate that she intended to make up allegations against Thompson.

The alleged sexual assault occurred 10 day after he recorded the messages.

Specifically, the court said that since it was the defendant who recorded them, it is possible he made statements during the conversation that were favorable to himself.

"Similarly, the (alleged) victim could also have made false statements with the intention of inciting an emotional reaction from the defendant," wrote the judge, who determined the recordings were unfairly prejudicial and don't include any direct evidence. He determined that the only reason to let a jury hear them would be to appeal to their sympathies, which is not allowed by the rules of evidence.

Thompson's jury trial is scheduled to begin Monday morning.

 

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Gunstock trying hard to make enough snow to be open for skiing on Saturday

GILFORD — Greg Goddard, general manager of Gunstock Mountain Resort, said Thursday that although the weather has not been the least bit cooperative he and his staff are doing all they can to open slopes for skiing tomorrow, Saturday December 3.

"We've been making snow like crazy whenever we've had the opportunity,Goddard said, adding in the breath that "we've gotten three inches of snow in the past three days." He said that snow on the Smith and Peepsight trails will be pushed out and groomed Friday night in anticipation of opening both trails on Saturday. But, he said if enough snow cannot be mustered, "we'll let you know the minute we know."

Goddard said he and his team are as eager to start the season as the skiers are continuing to make snow whenever they can and open more trails as fast as they can. "We love our skiers and appreciate their patience as we navigate the warm start to the season," he said.

Man convicted of stalking girl back in trouble for allegedly doing it again

LACONIA — A local man has been arrested for the second time for allegedly stalking a teen-aged girl. He was convicted in 2015 of stalking the same girl in 2014.

Daniel Tusi, 52, of Oak Street, was arrested by Laconia Police on Oct. 25 for coming within 50 yards of the girl who is now in high school. He faces one count of felony stalking and is being held in the Belknap County House of Corrections on $10,000 bail. He also faces two counts of breach of bail.

Tusi was convicted of class A misdemeanor stalking in a bench trail in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division in early 2015 and appealed the conviction to the Belknap County Superior Court where he was found guilty after a jury trial on Nov. of 2015. He was sentenced to serve 12 months in jail with all but three months of the sentence suspended. He was also ordered to complete a psycho-sexual evaluation and to stay away from the victim and her family.

He had been allowed to remain free on bail while he appealed his conviction to the N.H. Supreme Court.

According to court paper work, Tusi was driving in his car in July of 2014 and saw the girl who was 13 at the time. He slowed his car and stared at her. He drove away but returned from a different direction and repeated his act. He repeated his actions a week later after seeing her near her home.

Police confronted Tusi in September of 2014 and he denied knowing anything about following a young girl.

On Oct. 3, 2014 and while the victim was on the sidewalk near her home, Tusi drove by her, slowed almost to a stop and was within one foot of her. He speed off, turned around and drove back in her direction again nearly stopping about one foot from the child.

On Nov. 11, 2016 a three-member panel of Supreme Court judged upheld Tusi's 2015 conviction saying that the state had met its burden by proving that he engaged in reckless course of conduct to cause her to fear for her personal safety.

While the defense argued before the justices that there was nothing in the victim's behavior that revealed she felt scared, the court determined that the jury was "free to conclude that the fact that the police had been contacted about him was sufficient to inform him that there was a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the victim feared for her personal safety."

The justices also dismissed the defenses argument that Tusi's action could not "cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her physical well being" by saying that "a rational jury could infer that a victim in these circumstances would reasonably fear for his or her personal safety as a potential victim of being attacked or abducted by a stranger in a vehicle."

Laconia Prosecutor Jim Sawyer said that because of his first conviction in 2015, Tusi is being charged with a felony for his alleged actions in 2016.

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