Epping man convicted of child porn, rape charges
BRENTWOOD - A jury convicted a 39-year-old Epping man of manufacturing child sex abuse images and aggravated felonious sexual assault for abusing a young girl for years, dating back to 2004.
Kevin Thurlow, of 5 Fuller Lane was ordered held without bail until his sentencing on Nov. 28.
He is also awaiting federal trial in U.S. District Court on a related production of child pornography case.
A Rockingham County jury convicted Thurlow on all charges, including six counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and four counts of manufacture of child sexual abuse images.
The jury returned its verdict Thursday about an hour after closing arguments.
Deputy County Attorney Tom Reid told jurors how Thurlow began grooming the girl to perform sexual acts in 2004 when she was 9 years old. That abuse lasted until about December 2008.
Thurlow also took sexually lewd photographs of the girl, according to Reid.
Thurlow's wife reported to Epping police that she found the photos in July 5, 2008.
Epping police executed a search warrant at Thurlow's home for the computer and also found about 100 marijuana plants being grown there.
The girl was interviewed by Epping police about the photographs she appeared in, but initially she claimed she could not remember being in them, prosecutors said.
After being interviewed by police again in 2010, she began talking about being sexually abused by Thurlow and being photographed, according to Reid.
The defense argued at trial that the victim had fabricated a story about her abuse and highlighted to jurors what she initially told police when she was first interviewed.
The girl, now 17, testified at the start of trial, followed by her mother, and an Epping police officer who investigated the case.
Prosecutors were barred from telling the jury about Thurlow's pending federal charges and the marijuana conviction, Reid said.
Federal prosecutors have been waiting for the state court proceedings against Thurlow to conclude before moving forward. Thurlow faces a three-count indictment of production of child pornography and possession of child pornography.
Jonathan Saxe, an assistant federal defender, suggested that the government may want to consider dropping their case if Thurlow draws a lengthy sentence in superior court.
'It is not possible to predict the severity of such a potential sentence at this time; however, it is assumed that any potential sentence would be very lengthy,' Saxe said in a court motion submitted Monday.
The federal trial is scheduled to begin on Dec. 4.
- - - - - - - -
James A. Kimble may be reached at JKimble@newstote.com..