EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 10, 2013

Prosecutor: NH mom was daughter's sexual predator

Lynne Tuohy
Associated Press

---- — CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire mother wept openly in court as prosecutors played video of an alleged sexual encounter between her and her own 14-year-old daughter as a child sexual exploitation and pornography case got under way Wednesday with graphic testimony about sex acts the girl allegedly performed while her mother videotaped them.

Jury deliberations in the child exploitation trial of the Manchester lawyer could begin as early as Thursday in U.S. District Court in Concord. Her attorney has said he will call no witnesses.

U.S. Attorney John Kacavas told jurors the defendant acted not like a mother, but as the girl’s “pot pusher, her pornography producer and her predator.”

Two men testified they had sex with the defendant and with her daughter multiple times during separate encounters in 2012, one in Canada and the other at the attorney’s home. Both said the defendant recorded several of the sexual encounters on a smartphone.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically identify victims of sexual assault; it is not naming the mother to avoid identifying the girl.

Throughout his opening remarks, Kacavas repeatedly told the jury, “She should have been a mom” as he laid out the defendant’s alleged misdeeds. But as the day progressed, he repeatedly told the jury, “Let me show you another video.”

As jurors watched recordings of various sexual encounters, the defendant averted her eyes from the laptop screen in front of her and dropped her head into one hand.

The final video, prosecutors said, depicted the defendant having oral sex with her daughter. Before introducing it into evidence, prosecutors had the girl’s father — the defendant’s ex-husband — identify the voices captured on tape. He wept uncontrollably after identifying the voices as his daughter’s and his ex-wife’s and left the courtroom before the tape was played for the jury.

As the tape played — its audio track filling the courtroom — the defendant clapped her hands over her ears and wept.

The judge ordered the video stopped part way through, then had prosecutors skip to the end.

“This goes on for quite a while,” the judge explained.

James Moir, the defendant’s lawyer, earlier implored the jury to focus on whether prosecutors prove every element of each of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The issue is not whether (she) is morally depraved,” Moir said. He acknowledged that the allegations are “shocking, reprehensible and despicable.”

Kevin Watson, of Ontario, Canada, testified he spent Memorial Day weekend of 2012 with the mother and daughter in a motel room in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He said he met the girl online and that they had sexually-explicit Skype sessions before the rendezvous about three weeks after the girl’s 14th birthday.

Watson said the defendant told him it was her daughter’s first time having intercourse, and videotaped that and other sexual encounters during the weekend.

Brandon Ore, of Lebanon, testified he met the mother and daughter after responding to a personals ad placed by “two girls, 18 and 33, looking to party.” He ultimately moved in with them in July 2012, and said it was weeks later that he learned they were mother and daughter, and that the girl was 14.

He moved out two months later and turned himself in to police, triggering the lawyer’s arrest.

“The partying was out of control, the sex was out of control and she was charging high rent,” Ore said, when asked why he left.

The lawyer was a member of, and had advocated for, the Alliance Defending Freedom — an anti-gay Christian group.