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Sex-assault trial pushed to October

Sex offender convicted in 1988 facing new allegations

By Dean Shalhoup - Senior Staff Writer | May 7, 2018

Telegraph file photo Gerard Michaud, 73, of 40 Main St., Brookline

NASHUA – Trial for 73-year-old accused Brookline sex offender Gerard Michaud has been continued until the beginning of October, the result of a Superior Court judge’s recent ruling that followed the resolution of a separate matter on whether Michaud is eligible for a public defender.

Superior Court Chief Justice Tina Nadeau granted an assented-to motion to continue the trial, which is now scheduled to begin with jury selection on Oct. 1 in Hillsborough County Superior Court South.

It’s not clear in the case file whether Michaud, or prosecutors, filed the motion, which was placed under seal – an unusual step for a fairly common motion that appears regularly in case summaries and on court dockets.

Michaud, of 40 Main St. in Brookline, is facing 18 Class A misdemeanor charges accusing him of repeatedly molesting a young man over the course of five months, according to court documents.

A Hillsborough County grand jury returned “information” counts in August 2017 on all 18 charges, which include nine counts of sexual assault and nine counts of simple assault.

Michaud has been free on $10,000 personal recognizance bail as his case proceeds.

As it stands now, a trial management conference, typically the final hearing before the start of a trial, is scheduled for Sept. 20. Jury selection is set for Oct. 1, with testimony to get underway once the jury is seated.

The lawyers estimate the trial will run for two days.

In the matter regarding Michaud’s request for a public defender, Judge Charles Temple initially denied that request in late 2017, stating in his order that Michaud was not eligible for a public defender because he had “a net real estate value of $80,000,” according to the order.

But Attorney Marc Gouthro, a public defender who represented Michaud when the charges were first filed in Milford district court, filed a motion to reconsider.

Gouthro argued that Michaud, based on the financial affidavit he filed in the Milford court, was ruled eligible for a public defender. Gouthro also noted that prosecutors dismissed the 18 charges in district court, then refiled them as “information” charges in Superior Court, where the grand jury determined that enough evidence exists to move forward with all of the charges.

After considering Gouthro’s motion, Temple roughly two weeks later reversed his earlier order, ruling that Michaud was eligible for a public defender because “at this point, Mr. Michaud does not have any access to the equity in his home.”

Another hearing would be held, Temple said in his order, if Michaud gains access to the equity, either by selling or refinancing the home.

Michaud’s criminal record, meanwhile, goes back to at least 1988, when he was convicted in Superior Court in Nashua of felonious sexual assault for sexually assaulting a boy who was between 13-16 years at the time.

The conviction landed Michaud on the state’s sex-offender registry, which requires him to report to registry officials information such as a change of address or place of employment, among other things.

According to his registry page, Michaud has since been convicted of two other offenses: Duty to report, in October 2014, and fraudulent use of a credit card, in July 2008.

As for the new set of charges, they accuse Michaud of repeatedly molesting a young man at various locations on Michaud’s property between March 1 and July 31, 2016.

The alleged victim, who is described only as older than age 13, told authorities that the alleged incidents alternately took place in Michaud’s bedroom, his kitchen, and in a camper parked on the property.

The alleged victim accused Michaud of “sticking his hand down (the man’s) pants and fondling his penis” without consent, despite the man’s attempts “to back away or push Michaud’s hand away,” according to court documents.

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

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