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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Nashua man facing sex assault charges ruled incompetent to stand trial; dangerousness to be decided by judge

NASHUA – A Nashua man charged with sexually assaulting a girl last year has been declared incompetent to stand trial, and a judge will determine whether he is dangerous later this fall.

Robert Emmons, 55, formerly of 23 Temple St., was arrested in January after police were told in late December about an alleged sexual assault involving a girl younger than 13. ...

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NASHUA – A Nashua man charged with sexually assaulting a girl last year has been declared incompetent to stand trial, and a judge will determine whether he is dangerous later this fall.

Robert Emmons, 55, formerly of 23 Temple St., was arrested in January after police were told in late December about an alleged sexual assault involving a girl younger than 13.

He was held on $100,000 bail following his arrest.

Court documents filed this month show that a psychiatric expert evaluated Emmons and declared him incompetent to stand trial and that he cannot be restored to competency.

A hearing to determine his dangerousness was scheduled for July 28, but a Hillsborough County Superior Court judge delayed the hearing for 45 days at the request of Emmons’ defense attorneys, public defenders Stephen Rosecan and Bonnie Howard, according to court documents.

Emmons was charged with three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, which are Class A felonies, and was potentially looking at 10-20 years in prison on each charge, police said.

The public defenders and Assistant
Hillsborough County Attorney Kathleen Broderick agreed to accept Dr. Steve Rubenzer’s opinion that Emmons was incompetent to stand trial, according to the defense attorneys’ motion.

At the dangerousness hearing, a judge would rule whether Emmons is a significant danger to himself or others as a result of mental illness.

If he is, Emmons could be held for up to 90 days while prosecutors submit a petition to probate court to have him civilly committed for a period of five years, according to Hillsborough County Attorney Patricia LaFrance.

A probate court judge would then determine whether he should be held for that five-year period pending another review of his dangerousness, and whether he should be committed to New Hampshire Hospital or the Secure Psychiatric Unit at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord, LaFrance said.

If he is not ruled a danger to himself or others, Emmons would be freed since the criminal charges were dismissed upon the determination he is not competent to stand trial, she said.

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