Defense: Alleged victim in rape trial helped stage robberyBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent
May 15. 2018 8:55PM
DOVER — A lawyer for the man who allegedly tied up three people and sexually assaulted one of his victims during an armed robbery at Emery Farm in Durham last year says the incident was staged.
During opening statements at Strafford County Superior Court Tuesday, Joshua Flynn, 47, of Bristol, admitted to two counts of robbery, two counts of kidnapping and a count of theft by extortion, but his defense lawyer said Flynn denies all accusations involving the 23-year-old woman he allegedly raped in a back office at the farm store on March 10, 2017.
Robert Watkins told the jury that Flynn moved to New Hampshire from Rhode Island to be close to his mother in 2016. He met a prostitute on Backpage.com who had a drug problem and Watkins says that prostitute knew one of the participants in the staged robbery.
Watkins said Flynn and the participant in the staged robbery did drugs together and had consensual sex, eventually hatching a plan to have the farm robbed so she could get money from a victim’s compensation fund.
Watkins said on the day in question, Flynn knew police were looking for him in connection to other crimes in Strafford County and where the participant in the plot worked. He went there that morning and the two had consensual sex, he said.
Prosecutors say Flynn brandished a knife and used physical threats to coerce the woman to have sex with him during the staged armed robbery. Then he began to tie her up to contain her as he made his getaway. The owner of the farm store found Flynn and the woman.
Prosecutor Joachim Barth told the jury during his opening statements that Flynn pushed the owner and then began tying her up with cords he was cutting inside the store.
Flynn allegedly said, “I need to tie you up. I can’t have you call the cops.”
Barth said a regular customer walked in and she was bound by her hands and legs as well. He said all three women were begging Flynn to leave.
Before he ditched his black Jeep and took off in the Nissan Frontier he stole from the store’s owner, Barth said Flynn turned to the women and said, “If you call the police, I’m coming back here to kill you.”
Once he left, police were called and the 23-year-old woman was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital for treatment. Other responding officers started to pursue Flynn.
Police tracked Flynn to Portsmouth Chevrolet, where he had left the Nissan Frontier and stole a 2017 Silverado, which he later left in the Five Guys parking lot on Lafayette Road. He took a cab to C&J Trailways, where police found him.
Barth said Flynn gave himself up and later admitted to his crimes.
Watkins told the jury Flynn admitted to having sex with her as part of the alleged plan he had with her.
Watkins said Flynn plans to testify on his own behalf during the trial, which is expected to last into at least the middle of next week.
On Wednesday, jurors will take a tour of the farm and hear from the state’s first witness.
Flynn will be tried separately on the other robbery charges he faces that were not connected with the incident March 10.
He may also face charges for assaulting a prisoner while being held at Strafford County House of Corrections. Sheriff David Dubois confirmed Tuesday they received a report from jail officials on April 15 of this year.