Court reverses sexual assault convictions

December 20, 2019 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed a man’s sexual assault convictions on Friday, saying a judge was wrong to allow prosecutors to question him about a different investigation and permit irrelevant testimony of a key witness.

Ronald Fuller went to trial in 2018. He faced two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and one count of felonious sexual assault. A woman alleged that he abused her between 2001 and 2004. But she said she didn’t say anything until years later because she was scared.

A police officer testifying for the state was asked if she had investigated cases in which there were late disclosures; she said a majority of them are. She said she also investigated cases in which the disclosure comes out “piecemeal”and that she investigated cases in which the victim remained in the home.

Fuller’s lawyer moved to strike the testimony, questioning its relevance. The judge allowed it. The supreme court said the testimony had no bearing on whether the woman made credible delayed or piecemeal disclosures in the case.

The court also found it was improper for the judge to allow prosecutors to question Fuller about a different investigation in which a video camera was removed from his home.