Jury: Gilford man abuse child
OSSIPEE - A Carroll County Superior Court jury has found a 40-year-old Gilford man guilty on charges he sexually assaulted a young girl over the course of five years, and then tried to coerce her into recanting her accusations after she told police and school officials.
The jury of eight women and four men handed down five guilty verdicts on Tuesday morning against Michael Clough, of Cumberland Road, Gilford, according to Carroll County Attorney Robin Gordon.
The jury heard closing arguments in the case from prosecutor Deputy County Attorney Susan Boone, and Defense Attorney/Public Defender Eric Wolpin in Superior Court before Associate Steven Houran on Monday morning. Clough was charged with four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault involving a girl who is now 19, but would have been between eight and 13 years old at the time of the sexual assaults.
The indictments claimed that Clough committed four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault between July 24, 2002, and July 23, 2007, in Moultonborough, and two counts of witness tampering, one each in February and March of 2012. The jury found Clough not guilty on one of two counts of witness tampering.
Clough has been free on $100,000 personal recognizance bond but was taken into custody after the verdict.
A jury of nine women and five men sat through the trial for six days; one woman and one man were excused as alternates prior to deliberations, according to Gordon.
Numerous witnesses, including the female victim, officials from the Moultonborough Police Department and School Resource Officer Jody Baker, testified during the trial.
Each count of aggravated felonious sexual assault is punishable by a jail term of up to 20 years each. Gordon said the state had recommended a pre-sentencing investigation be conducted prior to making a sentencing recommendation. She anticipated that a sentencing hearing would be held between 45 and 60 days.
This was the second consecutive successful case for the state in recent weeks; Deputy County Attorney Boone prosecuted the Justin Roy child beating case that ended early last week with guilty verdicts on numerous charges, including first- and second-degree assault and kidnapping.