Gilbert trial moves to Grafton County Court

by Ester Cross | 7/15/13 10:00pm

The case against Parker Gilbert '16, who was charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault in May, is in Grafton County Superior Court for a 60-day period that began on May 20, awaiting the prosecutor to file an indictment against the defendant.

If no indictment is made against Gilbert in the 60 days period, the case will be dismissed without prejudice, which means that the case can be reopened at a future time when new evidence is presented against him.

Gilbert was charged with aggravated sexual assault on May 15 after a female student filed a police report two days earlier.

If convicted, Gilbert could be sentenced to up to 15 years for each count of sexual assault.

One of the complaints filed by the state accused Gilbert of sexually penetrating the victim through the "application of physical force, physical violence or superior physical strength," according to court documents. A separate complaint accused him of sexual penetration "before the victim had an adequate chance to flee or resist."

On May 15, Gilbert received orders and conditions of bail pending a probable cause hearing set for June 10. Bail was set at $40,000 in cash or corporate surety bonds and $35,000 in personal recognizance, the presumed cash amount required if the defendant violated his terms of bail.

Gilbert was ordered to relinquish his British passport to the state before being released on bail.

The court prohibited Gilbert from coming within 100 yards of an unidentified female victim. He was also prohibited from traveling outside of New Hampshire.

On May 17, the state assented to a motion filed by one of Gilbert's lawyers, George Ostler, to amend the orders and conditions of bail.

The new conditions allowed Gilbert to travel to Vermont and Massachusetts and reside in his family home in New London, N.H. The motion argued that Gilbert should be allowed to travel to Vermont since the his attorney's office is located in Norwich. The motion allowed Gilbert to travel to Vermont and Massachusetts for "medical and counseling appointments."

Attorney Susan Purcell said that out-of-state medical evaluations are common given that the defense team will want to ensure that psychologists who may evaluate Gilbert's mental state for the trial are not influenced by local press coverage.

"They need to form some sort of defense," Purcell said. "Presumably, they would be doing it with some sort of expectation of mounting their defense against the charges."

On June 3, the state assented to another motion filed by Ostler that waived the probable cause hearing scheduled for June 10.

A defendant in a criminal case trial is arraigned in district court where bail is set and a probable cause hearing is held. At this hearing, the prosecutor is charged with presenting sufficient evidence that a crime has been committed and that the defendant was responsible.

If the judge decides that the prosecutor has provided sufficient evidence against the defendant, the case is sent to superior court.

New Hampshire's Circuit Court states that a defendant may waive the right to a probable cause hearing if the prosecution and defense already agree upon the conditions of bail. Probable cause hearings are open to the public.

Defendants often waive their right to probable cause hearings, especially in sexual assault cases, which involved "delicate criminal proceedings," Purcell said.

The motion stated that Gilbert was charged on four felony counts and that he was abiding by the conditions of his bail.

Attorney Cathy Green is also representing Gilbert. Green could not be reached by press time.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: July 16, 2013

**The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Gilbert was charged in three other cases of aggravated sexual assault. He was charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault.*