By BEA LEWIS, For THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
CONCORD — A Franklin woman who pleaded guilty last year to human trafficking for selling a young girl into prostitution has decided to make her case to a jury on related charges involving another alleged victim.
Julie Shine, 43, was scheduled to appear in Merrimack County Superior Court on Monday for a status conference, but was never brought into the courtroom as the prosecutor and defense attorney met with the judge in chambers.
Upon emerging, Assistant Merrimack County Attorney David Rotman confirmed that a jury is scheduled to be picked on June 5. The trial, which is expected to last three to four days, has twice previously been postponed – once as the result of a medical condition that made the complaining witness unable to testify and the second after the state disclosed a new witness with whom the defendant's husband, William Shine, has allegedly made disclosures that could incriminate her. The defense was granted added time to interview the state's witness, and to decide whether to challenge the admissibility of that testimony at trial.
On Monday, Judge Robert McNamara agreed to continue the trial yet again after learning that the state has just produced 6,000 pages of new potential evidence in the case to be turned over to defense attorney Charles O'Leary. The state also dismissed a number of the charges including human trafficking, conspiracy to commit human trafficking, as well as misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child and violating the child protection act.
Last January, Mrs. Shine was sentenced to 11 to 30 years at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women after she admitted to accepting $1,000 from an informant working for police, to provide a 14-year-old girl for sex. Shine also confessed to theft by extortion for stealing a truck and money from a man by threatening to report him to police for impregnating another underage girl.
That man, Lawrence Marks, 36, of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty last March to a federal charge of transportation of a minor in interstate commerce for illegally sexual activity, and was sentenced to 12 ½ years' imprisonment, and ordered to publicly register for life as a sex offender against children.
Shine's husband, William, 35, who is already serving a 14- to 60-year prison term, received an additional 3- to 30-year sentence, to be served consecutively, when he pleaded guilty earlier this month to sexually assaulting the girl a jury convicted him of pimping, and for his role in extorting Marks.
As part of their respective sentences, the couple were ordered to pay Marks $60,000 in restitution. Marks is serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institute in Danbury, Connecticut, and is now scheduled for release in August 2026.
During William Shine's trial, the prosecutor told the jury the couple were cash starved and stooped to selling the young teen into prostitution as a quick though reprehensible solution.
Public Defender Emma Sisti countered that the couple were considering an arranged courtship, which under state law, is not a crime. They viewed an underage marriage as a path out of abject poverty, and as a chance to give the girl a better life.
William Shine is now represented by attorney Caroline Brown. Under the terms of his Dec. 7 negotiated plea, Shine agreed to drop his New Hampshire Supreme Court appeal challenging rulings made by the trial judge, but will continue to argue his claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.
The Shines were arrested in October 2014, after they arranged to sell the girl to a police informant. During the trial, Anthony O'Hickey testified that he went to police after learning his father, Ronald Martin, formerly of Laconia, a convicted sex offender, planned to buy the girl himself and spoke of keeping her caged in his basement.
O'Hickey wore a wire, and, while State Police listened in, offered to pay the couple $5,000 for the girl and handed them $1,000 in cash, under the guise that he was going to drive her to a hotel and try to initiate sex.
The three girls the Shines are accused of victimizing have since thanked O'Hickey for his courage in going to police.
Earlier this month, after William Shine was sentenced, one of the victims said that without O'Hickey's intervention, "I would be dead."
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