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Home » News » Crime

August 19. 2014 10:05PM

Some sexual assault charges dismissed against Nashua caretaker

NASHUA — Several charges against a Nashua caretaker, accused of sexually assaulting a mentally disabled man, have been dismissed, although four felony charges remain against him.

Police allege that John “Jack” Holland, 74, of 3 Kessler Farm Drive, Apt. 111, sexually abused a 24-year-old male with developmental delays throughout the past two years.

Authorities began investigating after employees at Somerset Apartments, where Holland resides, reported an inappropriate relationship between Holland and the victim, according to court documents.

Holland served as a caretaker for the victim, who is unable to care for himself in a manner necessary for a 24-year-old male, according to a police affidavit.

Initially, 21 charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault were issued against Holland, however 17 of those charges have since been dismissed, according to court records.

Jury selection for the remaining four sexual assault charges is scheduled for November. In the meantime, defense attorneys have filed a motion to produce discovery, seeking materials from the state involving prior allegations of sexual misconduct by the victim.

In 2011, the victim was a suspect in a separate felonious sexual assault case, and was suspected of inappropriately touching a girl under the age of 13 on more than one occasion.

Although he was indicted, the state did not pursue the charges after a competency evaluation was conducted.

The defense team is now seeking the results of the prior competency evaluation, which was sealed at the time.

“Capacity to consent to sex will likely be a contested issue at trial, and this evaluation provides some of the best evidence possible on that point,” Attorney Paul Borchardt wrote in court documents.

Also, in 2012, the victim was a suspect in a separate independent exposure and lewdness investigation, according to court records.

“Presumably, in both of these investigations, police collected evidence that would be relevant to (the victim’s) capacity to make independent decisions about sexual conduct,” said Borchardt.

According to police, the victim — whose name is being withheld — has low intellectual functioning and developmental delays in language skills, gross motor skills and fine motor skills that limit his communication abilities.

While Judge Charles Temple at the Hillsborough County Superior Court determines whether to grant the request from Holland’s attorneys, additional charges against Holland may be forthcoming from Merrimack police, according to court documents.

“The defendant has new sexual assault charges arising out of Merrimack District Court. The state anticipates indicting the Merrimack charges as soon as it receives the file from the Merrimack Police Department,” Leslie Gill, assistant Hillsborough county attorney, said in court documents.

Holland is free on $50,000 corporate surety bond. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison for each of the felony charges.

khoughton@newstote.com


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