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Man guilty on one of several felonies seeks bail pending appeal

When a defendant is convicted at trial of criminal violations in New Hampshire or another state, he or she may request release on bail pending an appellate court appeal. The permission to do so is discretionary with the trial court judge. In most instances of a conviction on felonies after trial, however, the trial judge believes firmly enough in the verdict that allowing bail pending an appellate court appeal is rarely granted.

Earlier this year, a young man convicted of sexual assault and a felony charge of use of a computer to lure a minor for sex was out on bail pending an appeal of his conviction. The 20-year-old student at an exclusive private school was caught violating his bail terms and was remanded back to prison to serve his one-year sentence. He appealed that decision also and is now being considered for release on bail after the appellate court remanded the case to the trial judge.

The appellate court noted that it could be unfair if the defendant has to serve the full 12 months prior to even having his appeal heard. The court asked the trial judge to consider whether the defendant now understands the importance of respecting his bail terms after serving time in prison. The judge can prevent future violations by having the defendant fitted with a leg bracelet that would monitor his whereabouts. The defendant got in trouble when he participated in a traditional competition to see which senior men could succeed in having sex with a younger female student.

The man's new lawyer is arguing that his prior lawyers did not ask for the 15-year-old girl's Facebook messages, which apparently would contradict her testimony. The defendant, who had been scheduled to attend Harvard, was charged with several felonies but was convicted only on a misdemeanor sexual assault charge. However, the conviction on the felony computer charge requires registration for life as a sex offender under New Hampshire law. The message conveyed by the appellate court indicates that the appeal is being considered seriously by the upper court.

Source:, "Owen Labrie: New Hampshire Prep School Convict Could Be Freed on Bail as Court Considers Request for New Trial", Chris Harris, May 13, 2016

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