I still believe Robert Magoon has information on Kathy’s murder.
Robert Magoon, 75, of Tilton arrives for his sentencing hearing at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord on Friday. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff
Ex-community center janitor sentenced to 25-60 years in prison
Robert Magoon, 75, of Tilton arrives for his sentencing hearing at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord on Friday.
By CAITLIN ANDREWS
Friday, July 28, 2017
CONCORD NH TILTON NH NORTHFIELD NH
By the time Robert Magoon will be eligible for parole, he will be 100 years old.
The former Concord police officer and janitor at the Pines Community Center in Northfield was sentenced to 25 to 60 years in state prison on four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault charges Friday afternoon.
And as Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi handed down the sentencing conditions – which include no contact with their victims or their families in either case, as well as no contact with anyone under the age of 18 – she noted a requirement for sexual offender rehabilitation was not included in the conditions.
That’s because Nicolosi doesn’t envision rehabilitation for Magoon, 75, she told the courtroom.
“The thing that drives me to sentence you is because the minimum would mean a life sentence,” she said, facing Magoon, who stood with his head bowed. “It mean you’re not going to come in contact with other children, with people who are vulnerable.”
She later added: “In terms of rehabilitation, there is no option for it at this stage in your life. Should you get out in 25 years, your age alone would protect the community.”
The sentences consist of two 10-20 year sentences with some overlap, as well as two additional 10-20 year sentences which will be served concurrently. Those last two sentences could be shortened by five years each with good behavior, Nicolosi said.
There is also a suspended sentence of 10-20 years that could be imposed if Magoon does not follow his sentencing requirements. Two more sentences could be added if Nicolosi decides to keep two felonious aggrevated sexual assault charges the defendant asked to be dropped, a motion that is still pending in court.
The sentences stem from two court cases in April and May, where Magoon was found guilty to have sexually assaulted a now-nine-year-old girl and a now-29-year-old woman with cognitive and physical disabilities.
The April trial dealt with whether Magoon assaulted the now-29-year-old woman who “has a disability that renders her incapable of freely arriving at an independent choice as to whether or not to engage in sexual conduct” three separate times between January 2013 and April 2014. In each instance, Magoon was found to have lured the woman, who uses a wheelchair, with the promise of a donut into a separate room before assaulting her.
The second trial adressed charges that Magoon sexually assaulted a girl who was a participant of the Pines’s before-school program. Magoon did not work at the before-school program, but co-workers said it was customary for him to be coloring with children in the game room, and witnesses said Magoon would invite the girl to sit on his lap to color.
Additionally, Magoon is facing six remaining sexual assault cases stemming from his time at the Pines, but Assistant Merrimack County Attorney Wayne Coull has made a motion to have those cases consolidated due to similarities between each case.
Coull said the offenses “could not be overstated” and were “outrageous.” In his argument for the prosecution’s sentencing recommendations, he said the things that might cause one to hesitate to sentence him severely – his age and fragile demeanor – are what made it so easy for him to prey upon vulnerable individuals.
And Magoon’s action didn’t just hurt his victims, but the culture of the Pines Community Center, which Coull described as a place where people felt safe leaving their children.
“He used weapons like trust and opportunity in his position at the Pines Community Center to take advantage of other people and engage in predatory behavior,” Coull said. “… I would give as much consideration to his age in sentencing as he did to his victims’ ages, which was none at all. His age didn’t prevent him from victimizing them or destroying the community the way he did.”
Defense attorney Hanna Kinne argued against the length of the sentence, noting Magoon had no criminal record prior to the trials and suffers from skin cancer. She also said Magoon had been transferred to the state prison a month early due to a previous sentencing date and had been confined to the special housing unit – similar to solitary confinement – which had an adverse effect on his health.
Kinne was echoed by Magoon’s son, Mark Magoon, who pleaded for his father to have the chance to prove rehabilitation was possible.
“The system, although it doesn’t always work, is designed for rehabilitation,” he said. “He should have the chance to have a life afterwards. Any prison sentence, no matter how short, is a life sentence.”
But Nicolosi said the length of the sentence, while harsh for anyone regardless of age, must match the nature of the crime. She called her decision “reasonable” – and, speaking to one of the victims’ and both victims’ families – hoped it would lead to a place of healing for those Magoon hurt.
“They say sexual assault victims go from victims to survivors to thrivers,” she said. “I hope there’s a day when the victims can reach that point.”
(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)