Plea deal for felon with gun now off


LACONIA — A plea deal is off for a man who had successfully negotiated his freedom in Superior Court on Oct. 7, following his arrest Tuesday by city police for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

10-11 Steven Moy

Belknap County Prosecutor Melissa Guldbrandsen confirmed yesterday that she is moving forward with old charges against Steven Moy, 29, of 34 Manchester St., for two counts of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon and one count of receiving stolen property, which was a gun reported stolen from Massachusetts.

She said she will also seek to impose a 3 ½ to 7 previously suspended sentence in the wake of his most recent arrest.

Guldbrandsen had agreed last week to dismiss all but one of the above charges against Moy in exchange for him pleading guilty to one count of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon, which was a gun. He agreed to be sentenced to 3 ½ to 7 years in prison, all of which was suspended.

Because Moy wasn't completely sure he wanted to plead guilty, Guldbrandsen had negotiated a single two-week time frame in which he could have reconsidered her offer and gone to trial instead.

As of his arrest on Tuesday, Guldbrandsen said she hadn't filed the paperwork from Friday with the court because she was honoring her side of the deal.

The discovery of the two guns was made while both Moy and his parole officer thought he was still on parole. Because of a clerical error at the state Department of Corrections, Moy's parole had ended in early 2016, possibly making some of the evidence gathered by his parole officer inadmissible.

Guldbrandsen said she will add to the old charges against Moy, plus new charges for being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon, which were brass knuckles, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute it, possession of heroin, possession of Xanax, resisting arrest and breach of bail.

She said Wednesday he allegedly had about six grams of methamphetamine, 50 pills of Xanax and a fair amount of heroin on him when he ran from police Tuesday morning after they attempted to apprehend him on Keasor Court for pounding on the doors and windows of a house there.

He waived his arraignment in Belknap County Superior Court and is being held on $50,000 cash-only bail on the latest charges.

Free the Nipple movement files motion to dismiss the case


LACONIA — For the second time in as many years, Judge Jim Carroll of the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division will have to decide if women can remain arrest-free after freeing their nipples at Weirs Beach in Laconia.

Heidi Lilley of Gilford and two of the members/supporters of the Free the Nipple movement, Kia Sinclair and Ginger Pierro, were cited by city police for appearing topless at Weirs Beach over Memorial Day Weekend in 2016 after police said they received a complaint, and last week filed a motion to dismiss the charges.

City ordinances prevent women from exposing the nipple portion of the breast in all public places.

Attorney Daniel Hynes represents all three and has called the Free the Nipple Movement a campaign against female oppression and censorship. In his request to dismiss the case against his clients, Hynes notes that until 1936, all people were prevented from appearing shirtless or topless in the United States. To date, he said there are still 37 states that have laws preventing female toplessness.

New Hampshire is not one of them.

Hynes said that two attempts by the state legislature to change the state law to prohibit the exposure of female nipples in public during the past legislative session failed.

His approach to his clients request for dismissal is two-pronged. The first is that since the state of New Hampshire is not a "Home Rule" state, anything that is not made illegal by the state cannot be made illegal by an individual community.

This was the basis for Carroll's dismissal of a similar violation faced by Lilley and Barbara McKinnon that stemmed from a topless experience at Gilford Beach on Labor Day in 2015.

Hynes' second prong is that the United States and New Hampshire Constitutions prevent discrimination against people by race, creed, color, gender and national origin.

He asked the court to determine that Laconia's ordinance violates those basic civil rights and to issue an injunction against enforcing it in the future. Hynes said that should the city wish to continue with preventing female toplessness, the only fair and constitutional way to do this is to prevent toplessness for all people, including men.

Hynes said the Free the Nipple Movement is also protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"By appearing topless in public, (the) defendant(s) engaged in speech and expression deserving of constitutional protection," he wrote. "(The) defendant was not just utilizing her right to be topless under state law, but to demonstrate to others her political viewpoint and message that the female nipple is not a sexual object."

Hynes wrote that the defendants seek to bring a message of gender equality and how the female nipple is treated differently than that of a man.

Hynes also said that artistic expression involving nudity as part of expression has been given First Amendment protections.

"To be considered obscene and outside of First Amendment protections, the government must prove that the work, taken has a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, is patently offensive in light of community standards, and lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value," he wrote, quoting a case from the U.S. Supreme Court.

It was this prong of the argument that Carroll failed to adopt when he dismissed Gilford's case against Lilley and McKinnon in 2015.

In that ruling, Carroll agreed with the New Jersey Supreme Court, which said toplessness is not a substantial level of "constitutionally protected conduct."

Carroll said the ordinance against toplessness at the beach was to be considered under "strict scrutiny" in that it has a specific purpose and the town had compelling reason to pass it.

He said the "compelling interest" is that Gilford Beach is a town resource that is to be enjoyed by "young and old, men and women, families and single persons" while preserving appropriate standards that allow the town to maintain its local values and mores.

He also determined that the town of Gilford didn't discriminate against Lilley and McKinnon because they were not banned from the beach.

As to the Laconia ordinance, it's unusual in that it was passed in the late 1980s in part to stem the tide of harassment of women at the annual Motorcycle Week rally. Not only does Laconia's ordinance prohibit the exposure of the female breast, it prohibits anyone from encouraging or harassing someone to public display their nipples.

Laconia Police Prosecutor Jim Sawyer said he will file his counter argument as early as Thursday.

The case is scheduled for trial on Friday morning but a clerk said while the trial won't happen, there is a chance the judge will hear oral arguments on the request from dismissal from both sides in the time slot reserved for the trial.

State trooper, veteran, settles discrimination suit


TAMWORTH — A gay woman who spent 20 years in the ranks of the New Hampshire State Police has settled her employment discrimination suit that claimed she was repeatedly passed over for promotion based on her gender and sexual orientation.

Under the terms of the agreement, Carrie Nolet of Chocorua will be offered part-time temporary employment with State Police. She will work twice a month for a six-month period as a Program Specialist III, focusing on policy review and development in the areas of training, recruitment, promotion, peer to peer, and women in leadership.

She will also be reimbursed the $750 cost of filing her federal lawsuit. The state will additionally pick up the tab for mediation totaling $2,880.

Under the terms of the agreement released under a Right-to-Know request, signed by Nolet and Assistant Commissioner Robert Quinn, neither side admits liability or wrongdoing, and both have agreed to drop all claims against each other.

Not until 1982, after a voluntary consent decree was reached due to intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice, did the New Hampshire Department of Safety, Division of State Police began recruiting and admitted women to its ranks.

Nolet, who became the first female trooper in New Hampshire to attend the FBI Academy, had alleged in her suit filed in U.S. District Court in Concord, that the culture was rife with pervasive incidents of gender bias and sexual harassment.

The state denied that Nolet was treated differently when, as a result of her promotion to lieutenant, she was required to report to Concord daily, resulting in an 11-hour day for which she was paid for just eight.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Rebecca Woodard Ross, said the promotion shifted Nolet from the collective bargaining agreement that covers troopers to the contract for the State Employees Association, which has different provisions for travel. Nolet's travel mandate was the same as other troopers who rose to the rank of lieutenant, she said.

In 2003, Nolet was deployed to a combat zone in Iraq as Alpha Company Commander of the 368th Combat Heavy Engineer Battalion. She also served in Kuwait and directly commanded 135 soldiers. In 2004, she returned from wartime deployment and resumed her job as Detective Sergeant at Troop E, whose patrol area includes Carroll and Belknap Counties.

Representing herself, without benefit of a lawyer, Nolet had sought a retroactive promotion to Field Area Captain and an court order restraining state police from future unlawful discriminatory conduct and practices. She also asked that her retirement benefits be recalculated to reflect the rank of captain, and had sought unspecified economic damages, including back pay.