State of New Hampshire v. Joshua Pouliot


NOTICE: This opinion is subject to motions for rehearing under Rule 22 as well as formal revision before publication in the New Hampshire Reports. Readers are requested to notify the Reporter, Supreme Court of New Hampshire, One Charles Doe Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301, of any editorial errors in order that corrections may be made before the opinion goes to press. Errors may be reported by e-mail at the following address: [email protected]. Opinions are available on the Internet by 9:00 a.m. on the morning of their release. The direct address of the court’s home page is: THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE ___________________________ Rockingham No. 2019-0322 THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE v. JOSHUA POULIOT Argued: September 9, 2020 Opinion Issued: January 13, 2021 Gordon J. MacDonald, attorney general (Zachary L. Higham, attorney, on the brief and orally), for the State. Anthony J. Naro, assistant appellate defender, of Concord, on the brief and orally, for the defendant. BASSETT, J. The defendant, Joshua Pouliot, appeals convictions, following a jury trial, on three counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, see RSA 632-A:2 (Supp. 2019), and one count of felonious sexual assault, see RSA 632-A:3 (Supp. 2019). On appeal, the defendant argues that the Superior Court (Delker, J.) erred by denying his motion to exclude evidence that he answered “no comment” in response to police questioning about the sexual assaults during a non-custodial interview over the phone. He contends that, through his “no comment” response, he invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled self-incrimination. See U.S. CONST. amends. V, XIV. He also argues that the trial court may have erred when, after conducting an in camera review of confidential records pertaining to the victim, the court ordered that only certain portions of those records be disclosed to the defendant. We affirm the trial court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to exclude, and remand to the trial court for further in camera review of the records. The following facts are taken from the trial court’s order denying the defendant’s motion to exclude, are established by the evidence submitted at the hearing on the motion, or are otherwise undisputed. The defendant and the victim are cousins, and the defendant is approximately six years older than the victim. During the summer of 2017, the victim reported that the defendant had sexually assaulted him multiple times when the victim was between 9 and 13 years old. In August 2017, an officer for the Londonderry Police Department began investigating the allegations against the defendant. At the time of the investigation, the defendant was attending college in Rochester, New York. The officer contacted the defendant’s parents and asked them to have the defendant call him. Thereafter, the defendant called the police station to speak with the officer. The officer then interviewed the defendant. At the start of the interview, the defendant confirmed his name, address, date of birth, and that he was the victim’s cousin. Approximately two to five minutes into the interview, the officer asked the defendant about …

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