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Inmate seeks dismissal of charges he impersonated lawyer calling another jail

Union Leader Correspondent

May 03. 2013 12:45AM
John Bouraphael, 33, of Danville faces charges of identity fraud for allegedly posing as a public defender last June while calling another county jail. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/FILE PHOTO)

BRENTWOOD - A jailed Danville man who allegedly impersonated a public defender so he could call another inmate in Merrimack County jail is seeking to have his charges dismissed, along with charges against his girlfriend, who is accused of aiding him.

John Bouraphael, 33, is facing identity fraud charges for allegedly impersonating public defender Anthony Naro last June 1 and having his girlfriend, Shayna Provencal, facilitate a third-party phone line so he could trick corrections officers into patching the call through.

Bouraphael allegedly used the lawyer's PIN number, or New Hampshire Bar number, to identify himself as Naro, according to prosecutors. Judge N. William Delker rejected Bouraphael's argument that prosecutors provided the wrong information to the grand jury when he was indicted in January.

But now Provencal is arguing that her boyfriend's third-party call from one jail to another does not qualify as a crime under the identity fraud law. Her court-appointed lawyer, Patrick Fleming, filed a motion making the argument Tuesday. He argued that Provencal played no role in aiding Bouraphael with obtaining Naro's personal information.

Fleming also said in his argument that Bouraphael would have had to obtain "money, credit, goods, services or anything else of value" to have committed identity fraud.

Prosecutors have yet to respond to Fleming's court motion, but new indictments against the couple were obtained last month in an effort to head off any legal challenges prior to trial. Delker, in a brief decision in Bouraphael's case, said that the defense's argument "amounts to a factual dispute about the allegations."

"The purpose of a jury trial is to determine whether the evidence presented supports the allegations in the indictment," Delker added.

Bouraphael and Provencal are facing Class A felonies, punishable by up to 7 ½ to 15 years in state prison. Prosecutors say Bouraphael had called fellow inmate Jacob Palo to talk about their enterprise of strong-arming fellow inmates out of their canteen goods. Bouraphael was facing drug charges at the time and has since pleaded guilty in that case.

Before being separated, Palo and Bouraphael were both being held in the same jail in Brentwood.

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