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Judge denies request for reduced sentence for man who sexually assaulted daughter

Union Leader Correspondent

September 24. 2018 10:57PM

A prison cell at Concord State Prison.

NASHUA — Harvey Martel, the father of convicted murderer Molly Martel, will not have his sentence reduced for sexually assaulting his daughter when she was 14.

A judge on Monday rejected Harvey Martel’s request to have about 1½ years of his 5- to 10-year prison sentence reduced.

Judge Charles Temple’s decision came just minutes after Molly Martel, who was transported to Nashua from the State Prison for Women in Concord, approached the court and urged the judge not to release her father from prison before serving his five-year minimum sentence.

“You stole my innocence and to this day I have issues trusting people,” Molly Martel read in a statement to her father during a video conference hearing at Hillsborough County Superior Court. “… It seems you think you are invisible and have done no wrong.”

Harvey Martel was convicted of aggravated felonious sexual assault against his daughter in 2014; she was 14 at the time of the sexual abuse, but his conviction did not occur until she was already in prison for murder.

Molly Martel, now 30, was convicted in 2011 of two counts of second-degree murder for stabbing to death her former co-worker, Stephanie Campbell, 27, a mother of three from Manchester.

On Monday, Molly Martel said the pain her father inflicted on her when she was younger will remain for many years to come.

“I was the only girl who had the courage to stand up to you … you ruined me,” she said, adding no form of punishment will be enough.

Molly Martel said she is trying to make positive changes with her life and move forward, but has no interest in having any type of relationship with her father.

“I had nightmares of you and I always worried,” said Molly Martel, maintaining her father’s five-year minimum sentence is not enough.

Harvey Martel expressed remorse for his actions on Monday, reminding his daughter that she never did anything wrong.

“I had no right to put you in that position … I let you down and embarrassed you,” he said. “It was all my fault.”

Harvey Martel says he is undergoing therapy now and never wants to cause his daughter any more pain. While he cannot change the past, the elder Martel said he is hopeful that his daughter, a former athlete and promising softball player for Merrimack High School, will be able to regain her positive attitude and drive to follow her dreams.

Judge Temple denied Harvey Martel’s request for a reduced sentence, saying sexual offender treatment is a lifelong treatment and the most difficult type of rehabilitation.

“A very strong message has to be sent to you,” Temple told Harvey Martel, adding the original 5- to 10-year prison sentence was fair and just at the time, and remains appropriate now.

Addressing Molly Martel, Temple said, “Your life has been ruined in so many different ways because of what this defendant did to you,” he said.

Several of Molly Martel’s relatives were in court on Monday expressing support for her; she is currently serving 20 to 40 years in prison.

While her father remains in prison, and during his parole period afterwards, he is ordered to have no contact with his daughter.

Once his parole ends, however, all of the no-contact provisions as part of his sentencing are vacated, Temple ruled.

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