Mar 12, 2014
Mar 5, 2014
Feb 26, 2014
Feb 19, 2014
Chester man challenges police computer search in sex abuse case
BRENTWOOD - A Chester man charged with an alleged series of sexual assaults against a young girl in the 1990s is asking a judge to reconsider whether police had the right to search his computer, which ultimately led to his indictment in four separate cases.
Gary Britton, 60, is headed to trial next week in Rockingham County Superior Court on two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and two counts of felonious sexual assault for allegedly abusing a girl between 1991 and 1995. The alleged assaults began when the girl was under age 10, prosecutors said.
Michael Verronneau, a digital forensic expert, testified for the defense on Monday, suggesting that Britton's landlord had to go searching for the images of child pornography on his home computer rather than seeing it in plain sight.
The landlord testified at a previous hearing that he simply turned on the computer and saw the images. Chester police used that information to obtain a search warrant. Judge N. William Delker had already ruled in March that the police search of Britton's apartment and home computer was legal, but he allowed defense lawyers to add testimony to their bid to have evidence in the case thrown out.
Delker is now reconsidering his decision. Assistant County Attorney Brad Bolton argued that Britton's computer could have been only partially shut down, or in sleep mode, and that the images could have remained on the screen.
"So, it's possible for someone to push a button and for that screen to come up," Bolton said, showing exhibits of the images recorded by police. "It's possible," Verronneau said.
Britton was being evicted by his landlords on Sept. 22, 2011, when Chester police were preparing to arrest him for failing to register as a sex offender.
Once the landlords allegedly found child pornography on Britton's computer they called police. That set off a wider investigation by Chester police that resulted in Britton being indicted on the sex assault case, failing to register as a sex offender, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing child pornography.
Britton, who was convicted of aggravated felonious sexual assault in 1983, is barred from owning a firearm because he is a felon.
He is expected to face separate trials on charges of possession of child sexual abuse images and being a felon in possession of a weapon.
He pleaded guilty for failing to register as a sex offender and served 12 months in jail.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Was a crime committed? Nashua police are not certain - 0
- Man arrested in Nashua market robbery - 0
- Fugitive of the week arrested in Maine - 0
- Manchester CrimeWatch: City woman connected to fatal crash in court again - 0
- UPDATED: Rochester man shot multiple times as police attempted arrest - 0
- Bedford man sentenced for lobster trap thefts - 0
- Manchester police recover $2,000 worth of painkillers in drug arrest - 2
- UPDATE: Hudson police standoff ends; person in custody - 0
- Manchester man who defrauded banks in mortgage foreclosure scheme gets 6 years - 2
READER COMMENTS: 12
- Manchester woman wakes to find burglar in home - 0
- No dice: House kills casino gambling bill - 3
- Poetry Out Loud championship rescheduled due to storm - 0
- Portsmouth buildings evacuated for reported gas leak - 0
- Mass. man dies in Chesterfield crash - 0
- Manchester collision results in pedestrian's death - 1
- SCORE workshop offers social media tips - 0
- Sens. Shaheen, Ayotte slam latest push for online sales tax - 5
- Bedford girls basketball team spreads the scoring wealth - 0
SCORE workshop offers social media tips
Minimum wages: Maximum spin
John DiStaso's Granite Status: Scott Brown to announce exploratory committee for U.S. Senate run
No dice: House kills casino gambling bill
Hooksett votes down Pinkerton schools deal