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Mass. man convicted of sexually assaulting girl at Wal-Mart in Plaistow
Ronald Beausoleil, 34, of Haverhill, Mass., was convicted in Rockingham County Superior Court of sexual assault. (JAMES A. KIMBLE)
Jurors convicted Ronald Beausoleil, 34, of Haverhill, Mass., of aggravated felonious sexual assault and three other charges after roughly an hour and a half of deliberation in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Prosecutors argued that store security footage and the testimony of the young girl left no doubt that Beausoleil, a level-three sex offender in Massachusetts, was the assailant.
Defense lawyer Robert Watkins argued that the lead detective in the case locked onto Beausoleil as the sole suspect after showing a single photograph to the girl while she was being treated at Lawrence General Hospital in Lawrence, Mass.
Watkins suggested the girl could have felt pressured to identify Beausoleil as her attacker since she was offered no other choices from a photo lineup.
Beausoleil was also convicted of felonious sexual assault, accomplice to theft by unauthorized taking and driving after revocation.
Haggar argued that police were simply trying to identify a possible suspect when a detective showed the single photograph to the girl.
Police later released Beausoleil's photo to the public, asking for help in identifying him.
"This is a case of stranger danger," Haggar said. "Of course the police have an interest in sharing this with the public."
Beausoleil faces a second trial in January for allegedly exposing himself to another young girl at a Wal-Mart in Salem on Sept. 19, 2011.
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