Judge denies state’s reconsideration motion; sets hearing in new Marden rape-case trial

Nashua police photo Jonathan Marden, 21, 5 Blackstone Drive, Apt 27, Nashua

NASHUA – A Superior Court judge has denied what is likely the state’s final attempt to stave off a new trial in the case of Jonathan Marden, the Nashua man convicted of rape last year, setting the stage for a status hearing later this month.

“The court does not conclude that the state has established grounds for reconsideration,” Judge Phillip Mangones wrote in his ruling.

He referred to the motion the state filed in early January, asking that Mangones reconsider his Dec. 14 ruling granting Marden’s motion to set aside the jury’s verdict and give him a new trial.

The jury, on Sept. 8, convicted the now 21-year-old Marden of one felony count of aggravated felonious sexual assault, which had accused him of raping a then-16-year-old former girlfriend in his car while it was parked near a south Nashua retail complex.

The next hearing in the case is a status conference scheduled for Feb. 15 in Hillsborough County Superior Court South.

The dates for Marden’s new trial have yet to be scheduled.

Marden was granted the new trial on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel, which asserted that his trial lawyer, attorney Timothy Goulden, did not represent Marden effectively according to Constitutional standards.

In his 22-page ruling granting Marden’s motion, Mangones agreed with several points raised by Marden’s new lawyer, attorney Donna Jean Brown, including her argument that Goulden should have raised objections to much of the testimony by a key prosecution witness.

Goulden also failed, according to Brown, to introduce in a timely fashion evidence that the victim had sex two days before the alleged rape.

Marden, of 5 Blackstone Drive, has been free on bail as the case proceeds.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.