Mass. man ‘not guilty’ in child support case

NASHUA – Mark Duggan, the Massachusetts man on trial for allegedly failing to pay child support for several years, was found not guilty on criminal charges this week.

The jury in the Hillsborough Superior Court-South in Nashua found Duggan, 52, not guilty on two felony counts of non-support, and one misdemeanor count charging him with non-support. The jury returned the verdicts on Wednesday.

The indictment sheets filed in court alleged Duggan did not pay child support for his two children, for whom he was legally obligated.

The indictments alleged he failed to pay more than $10,000 in child support for more than a year. The period of time in the indictments for which he allegedly did not make payments ran from February 2009 to September 2016.

Duggan declined to comment when reached via telephone on Friday. His court-appointed attorney, Eleftheria Keans, said the jury seemed to understand Duggan was trying to meet his legal requirement.

“We showed that he was paying what he could pay,” Keans said.

Duggan paid about $59,600 in child support over time, Keans said. While he still owed a total of about $126,000 for both children, the effort to pay something went a long way with the jury, she said.

Assistant County Attorney Kent Smith did not respond for a request for comment.

Court documents indicate Duggan previously pleaded guilty in 2009 to one count of non-support for not making mandatory payments from January 2007 to August 2008. That plea resulted in a suspended prison sentence of one-and-a-half to four years.

In 2013, he was found in violation of his probation for falling behind on his child support and was sentenced to 120 days in jail, according to court documents.

Court records show Judge Charles Temple ruled that the prosecution could not bring up the matter of the prior guilty plea during the recent trial.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or dfisher@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DF.