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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

After jury visits scene of alleged crime, trial begins in 2013 Nashua rape case

NASHUA – A 15-year-old girl took the witness stand Tuesday and told jurors that a 29-year-old Massachusetts man who had befriended her over their shared interest in cooking, then raped her in the parking lot of an abandoned Nashua building last summer.

The testimony came as the trial began of Frank Moore, formerly of Massachusetts, who allegedly assaulted and raped the girl on July 11, 2013. ...

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NASHUA – A 15-year-old girl took the witness stand Tuesday and told jurors that a 29-year-old Massachusetts man who had befriended her over their shared interest in cooking, then raped her in the parking lot of an abandoned Nashua building last summer.

The testimony came as the trial began of Frank Moore, formerly of Massachusetts, who allegedly assaulted and raped the girl on July 11, 2013.

On Tuesday, Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Karinne Brobst told jurors they won’t have to rely just on the girl’s testimony, but will also be shown photos of her injuries and hear evidence about DNA found on her body.

“There, on the cement, he raped her,” Brobst said during her opening statement.

On Tuesday, the jury of nine men and five women were taken by bus to the parking lot of an abandoned building on West Hollis Street and a nearby field where the assault allegedly took place.

Brobst said Moore’s defense will be that the sex was consensual, but the girl was 14 at the time.

During a phone call recorded by police, Brobst said, Moore told the girl he would lose his children if she reported him – and even put one of his children on the phone with the alleged victim.

“He wanted her to lie about what had happened to her,” she said. “He knew on that phone call he was in trouble.”

In their statement, Moore’s defense attorneys, public defenders Michael Davidow and Kelsey Engelbrecht, said the girl has a history of lying, and had accused another person of sexually assaulting her when she was younger.

“The physical evidence does not support this,” Engelbrecht said in her opening statement. “She told her mom a story, a story that blamed Frank and left her blameless. Frank Moore did not rape that girl. He did not force himself on her.”

The day’s testimony ended Tuesday with Davidow still cross-examining the alleged victim. She had already testified that Moore had met her at her house to talk about culinary schools, but instead grabbed her breasts in a field near her house and then tackled her in an abandoned parking lot on West Hollis Street, pulled her clothes off and raped her.

Davidow pointed out several inconsistencies in previous versions of what the victim had told police and during an interview at the Child Advocacy Center.

Moore is charged with six counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, as well as several lesser counts of felonious sexual assault and one count of witness tampering.

He has been held at Valley Street Jail in Manchester since his arrest. Recently, Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charges Temple agreed with a psychiatric expert that Moore was faking mental illness to avoid his trial and declared him competent to stand trial.

Moore was supposed to stand trial in February but that was delayed while court-ordered competency evaluations were completed.

“The court agrees with Dr. (Albert) Drukteinis that the defendant is simply unwilling to assist his attorneys in a calculated attempt to avoid the difficult situation he presently faces in this criminal proceeding,” Temple ruled. “The stark reality is that he understands the proceedings and possesses a present sufficient ability to assist his counsel, but simply wants to avoid the consequences of the legal proceedings.”

The first psychiatrist to evaluate Moore, Dr. Dennis Becotte, said Moore was not competent to stand trial and should be re-evaluated after six to nine months of treatment. Dr. Drukteinis said Moore is competent to go to trial, according to Temple’s ruling.

Both experts said Moore has a plethora of diagnoses, including borderline personality traits, adjustment disorder and depressive disorder, according to Temple’s ruling. The psychiatrists agree on much of their diagnoses except when it came to Moore’s ability to satisfactorily consult with his attorneys..

“This finding is supported by the fact that these experts agree that the defendant is a manipulative, deceptive, narcissistic and overly dramatic individual,” Temple ruled. “In addition to this, the experts agree that he is not suffering from any psychotic episodes or major mental illness.”

Moore was arrested after Nashua police were called to a city hospital when the victim reported she had been raped around 4 a.m. on July 11.

He has also described himself as a “manipulator, liar and deceptive” and claimed he had a secret stash of money somewhere during jailhouse phone calls, according to Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Catherine Devine.

Joe Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).