Thursday, July 24, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;69.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/novc.png;2014-07-24 06:40:45
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Man accused of fleeing days before sex assault trial in Nashua denied bail

NASHUA – A judge revoked a Merrimack man’s bail Tuesday and said it was the only way to ensure he would show up for his sexual assault trial next month.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charles Temple revoked the bail of Eric Cousens, 44, who was supposed to stand trial April 29 on sexual assault and drug charges but fled to West Palm Beach, Fla., instead, police said. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

NASHUA – A judge revoked a Merrimack man’s bail Tuesday and said it was the only way to ensure he would show up for his sexual assault trial next month.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charles Temple revoked the bail of Eric Cousens, 44, who was supposed to stand trial April 29 on sexual assault and drug charges but fled to West Palm Beach, Fla., instead, police said.

Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Catherine Devine argued Tuesday that Cousens not only fled even after a jury was seated but tried to tamper with witnesses by contacting the victim’s mother.

“The defendant is an obvious flight risk,” she said.

Cousens attorney, Carl Olson, admitted Cousens’ flight was “problematic” but may have actually saved a great deal of complications because it turns out his former attorney had a conflict of interest and could not ethically represent Cousens. If the trial had proceeded, Cousens would have been entitled to a second trial.

“A huge can of worms was avoided by him not showing up,” Olson said.

Cousens was indicted on a felony bail jumping charge last month, according to court documents.

Temple revoked Cousen’s bail on the felonious sexual assault charges and set bail on the bail jumping charge at $100,000 cash only – although that is redundant since he will be in jail until his trial.

“I find that he’s a significant flight risk in this case and no amount of bail or conditions is going to assure his appearance,” Temple said.

Cousens is charged with giving cocaine to a young child and then sexually assaulting the child in April 2013, according to court records.

U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force members arrested him in a West Palm Beach motel room two days after his trial was supposed to begin in Nashua, police said.

Marshals had to break into the room when Cousens refused to come out and then brought him to the hospital after he had a medical emergency while being brought to jail, police said.

On Tuesday, Devine said she will try to have evidence about the incident admitted at the sexual assault trial and said his “flight is evidence of guilt.”

“He didn’t show up because he knew he was going to be convicted and he was scared,” she said.

Cousens’ trial is tentatively scheduled to begin next month.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).