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Ruling expected on ex-state rep's competence in sex assault trial

Union Leader Correspondent

November 07. 2012 3:11AM

BRENTWOOD - A judge is expected to soon decide whether a former Plaistow state representative indicted for sexual assaults he allegedly committed in 1970s will be competent to stand trial.

Robert Vlack, 85, was recently evaluated for the third time in an effort to determine whether he will go to trial on 11 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault.

Judge Marguerite Wageling scheduled a hearing for Friday afternoon that may ultimately decide what course the case will take.

In August, Wageling granted lawyers in the case a 60-day extension so that Vlack could be re-evaluated again before she made a decision on whether he would stand trial.

Vlack underwent two other competency evaluations after his defense lawyer raised concerns about whether his client was aware of the court case pending against him.

Assistant County Attorney Brad Bolton told Wageling at a hearing in August that evidence showed Vlack may have exhibited signs of "malingering" warranted a further evaluation.

A month after Vlack's indictment, he was diagnosed with memory loss by the Veteran's Administration Hospital, according to court records. Defense lawyer Gerard LaFlamme said in a court filing a psychologist concluded that Vlack was suffering from dementia.

The latest findings remain under court seal, but lawyers are expected to discuss them at Friday's hearing.

Vlack was indicted by a grand jury in February 2010. He allegedly began assaulting the girl in January 1975 when she was 15 years old. The alleged assaults were ongoing until about June 1976, according to indictments.

LaFlamme argued at the outset that prosecutors should not have pursued the case because the statute of limitations ran out years ago. The defense argued that Vlack was an active resident of New Hampshire between 1981 and 1982, and was part of a committee that oversaw construction of the Seabrook Power Plant.

Prosecutors countered that Vlack left New Hampshire in 1981 to live in Connecticut, which froze any expiration on the deadline to seek criminal charges.

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