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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Competency of victim of alleged sex assaults at issue in court hearing

NASHUA – Lawyers for a Nashua man accused of sexually assaulting a disabled man in his care want to examine a competency evaluation that the alleged victim underwent two years ago.

John “Jack” Holland, 74, of 3 Kessler Farm Drive, is facing several counts of felonious sexual assault and is accused of having sex with a developmentally disabled man he cared for, according to court documents. The attacks were alleged to have occurred multiple times over the past two years. ...

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NASHUA – Lawyers for a Nashua man accused of sexually assaulting a disabled man in his care want to examine a competency evaluation that the alleged victim underwent two years ago.

John “Jack” Holland, 74, of 3 Kessler Farm Drive, is facing several counts of felonious sexual assault and is accused of having sex with a developmentally disabled man he cared for, according to court documents. The attacks were alleged to have occurred multiple times over the past two years.

He was arrested by Nashua police in January and charged by Merrimack police in April, police said.

In a motion filed at Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, Holland’s attorney, public defender, Paul Borchardt, asked a judge to review the competency evaluation the alleged victim underwent in 2012 when he was accused of having sex with a girl under the age of 13. After reviewing the evaluation by the state
Office of the Forensic Examiner, prosecutors dropped those charges, according to Borchardt’s motion.

It’s likely the alleged victim’s ability to consent to sex will be argued about at a trial.

“While competency to stand trial and competency to consent to sex are not the same, the evaluation would involve many similar issues,” Borchardt wrote.

Earlier prosecutors had agreed to provide the competency evaluation to defense attorneys under seal, but later said in a motion that the alleged victim – who also has a lawyer – should be allowed a chance to argue against its release.

Borchardt wants a judge to conduct an “in camera” review, essentially asking the judge to hold a hearing in chambers to protect the alleged victim’s privacy, and then to release it to the defense under a protective order, according to the motion.

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