Man guillty of molesting adopted sons in the 80's has been given 20 year sentence
DOVER — A 58-year-old local man who accepted responsibility for molesting his two adopted sons over
a period of six years in the 1980s will spend at least the next 20 years of his life incarcerated.
James Halldorson, formerly of 56 Summer St., was sentenced to a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 40 years in
state prison during a sentencing hearing in Strafford County Superior Court on Tuesday. He had pleaded guilty to three counts
of aggravated felonious sexual assault and one count of felonious sexual assault on Sept. 11.
“I can’t disregard in any sense the harm that the criminal acts have caused. The harm that has
been caused to these victims is harm which they will live with for the rest of their lives,” said Judge Peter Fauver,
before granting the state’s sentencing recommendation. “Let me tell you, that if you did not live an exemplary
life and this had been recent, and you put these kids through trial, you’d be looking at the rest of your life (in prison).”
A former administrator at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine, Halldorson was arrested in November 2005 following
an investigation by Durham police.
Halldorson, also a father of two biological sons, was indicted on four counts in February, with each indictment
detailing multiple counts of sexual assault committed in a home in Durham between 1982 and 1988. Combining each indictment,
a total of 40 counts were alleged, all of to which Halldorson pleaded guilty.
One of the victims, now 32, spoke emotionally at the hearing, turning the podium so it faced his adopted father,
who was dressed in a jail jumpsuit and shackled. The victim was 9 years old when the molestations began.
“I’ve tried but I’ve decided I will never forgive you — you do not deserve it,”
the victim, a married father of two, said. “You hand-picked us … we were adopted into this sick life to fulfill
him. The actions of his molestations don’t hurt as much as that.”
The other victim, now 33 years old, also spoke, never taking his eyes off his adopted father. He was 10 when
the molestations began.
“You don’t think you did anything wrong, and I know it. But you did something wrong,” he
said loudly, leaning over the podium.
Halldorson, turning to face his victims and their family, said he was ashamed of his actions and expressed
“I have lived in a world of lies and deceit, a world of dishonesty,” Halldorson said. “Unfortunately,
I succumbed to something deep inside of me that I can’t explain … I was wrong, I am sorry, and now I must pay
Halldorson said the molestations occurred during a period of alcoholism, for which he sought treatment around
the time of the molestations. He did not have any supporters in the courtroom.
Halldorson’s attorney, Lincoln Soldati, fought for a lighter sentence of 71⁄2 to 15 years to cover
“There’s no indication whatsoever … that my client has done anything over the past 20 years
but lived a productive, lawful life,” Soldati said. “He has accepted the responsibility, he has accepted the guilt
for these crimes … there’s not a lot more he can do.”
On two of the counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, Halldorson was sentenced to 71⁄2 to 15
years in prison. He was sentenced to 5 to 10 years on the third count of aggravated felonious sexual assault. On a charge
of felonious sexual assault, Halldorson was sentenced to 31⁄2 to 7 years in prison to run concurrently with the former
“Certainly these are terrible crimes,” said Prosecutor Eric Gentes after the hearing. “I
think the sentences are appropriate.”
As a condition of his sentence, Halldorson will also have to complete the state prison’s sex offender
children have the same rights as adults have when reporting a sex crime? When will the courts stop torturing children
for telling the truth?)
Man Convicted For Third Time Of Raping 8 year old Girl, 11 Years Ago
POSTED: 11:11 am EST December 14, 2007
N.H. -- A Manchester man faces life in prison after being convicted for the third time of raping an 8-year-old girl
11 years ago.
Delvin White was originally convicted
of raping the girl in 1997, but the conviction was overturned by an appeals court. He was convicted again in 2005, and the
conviction was again overturned, that time by the state Supreme Court.
Hillsborough County Attorney Marguerite Wageling said the victim was courageous for being willing to testify against
White in a third trial, 11 years after the crimes. Wageling said the victim's credibility was challenged frequently by
defense attorneys during the trials.
White is being
held pending sentencing. He could be sentenced to life in prison.
|COCHRAN AWAITING trial for videotaping himself molesting a 2 year old girl.|
NASHUA – The girl whom Michael Cochran allegedly raped and molested six years ago is now an anorexic, suicidal
8-year-old, her mother said
“Things are very, very hard with her,” the girl’s
mother said, all the more so because the girl’s feelings toward Cochran remain conflicted despite the alleged abuse.
Cochran, 37, is charged with raping and molesting the girl repeatedly from 2000-03, and molesting another girl from
2004-06. He also faces child pornography charges for allegedly filming both girls. Cochran has pleaded innocent to all charges,
but remains jailed, unable to post $250,000 bail.Authorities investigated reports of suspected abuse starting when the girl
was two, her mother said. Cochran saw the girl regularly before his arrest in May.
ACCORDING TO HER MOTHER,
The girl is underweight, at 55 pounds, and has been diagnosed with anorexia and other psychiatric disorders. “She
was first diagnosed with ADHD, but now they believe it’s post-traumatic stress disorder,” The girl sees
therapists four times a week and must remain supervised at all times. She was hospitalized for nine days after a suicide
attempt last summer.
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Expert: Man's mental illness exaggerated
NASHUA – Michael Cochran may have a mental illness, but he tends to exaggerate it, a psychiatrist
Cochran, 38, formerly of 45 Cross St. and 79C Lake St., is accused of videotaping
his rape of a toddler and his molestation of another young girl. He has been jailed since his arrest last year and faces a
total of nine felony sexual assault charges and 11 child pornography charges in the two cases.
James Dennehy, of Bedford, argued that Cochran suffers from amnesia and may not be mentally competent to stand trial.
A psychiatrist who examined Cochran last week, the state's Chief Forensic Examiner Dr. James Adams, testified Monday
that Cochran's claims are greatly exaggerated, however.
Cochran's trials on the assault charges have been
delayed while Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge William Groff considers whether he is capable of understanding the
charges against him and working with his lawyers on his case. Groff did not immediately rule on the matter after hearing evidence
Adams said he evaluated Cochran in part using the "M-FAST," or Miller Forensic Assessment of
Symptoms Test. The test was designed to detect faking or exaggerating symptoms of mental illness, he testified.
scored "sort of off the scale," indicating to a certainty that he was exaggerating the extent of his illness, Adams
Though Cochran has a clear motive to do so now, his medical records indicate that he has often exaggerated
his problems in the past, Adams said. Cochran has been treated for mental health problems, including anxiety disorder and
major depression since at least 1991, Adams said.
While Cochran's illness is real, Adams said, his records
suggest that his treating doctors also viewed some of his symptoms with skepticism, writing that he "claims" certain
conditions, rather than "presents" or "reports" them.
Dennehy wrote that Cochran's condition
includes "extreme memory loss," and that his client has no memory of the offenses with which he's charged.
It's common for people accused of heinous crimes to have trouble recounting the details, Adams said. Cochran didn't
show any signs of consistent memory problems, though Adams said he appeared to have "a casual relationship with the truth."
"I use the phrase, 'motivated forgetting,'" Adams testified. "It's been my observation
that many people who do violent crimes," especially those they later regret, "don't remember the specifics.
I think that's a self-protective measure."
On the other hand, he added, "Other people just lie."
Cochran has been kept in protective custody at the county jail, locked alone in a cell virtually all the time, Dennehy
said, and he fears being released into the general population. Adams confirmed Cochran's anxiety was real, but added that
it was also reasonable under the circumstances.
A former girlfriend of Cochran, the mother of one of the girls
he is accused of assaulting, testified that Cochran always had a good memory for birthdays, anniversaries and the like, but
often lied about things like his guitar playing abilities and problems keeping a job.
Cochran admitted to assaulting
at least one of the girls when he spoke with police, but he has since argued that his statements and videos of the assaults
should not be allowed as evidence in the case. A hearing on that matter was delayed by Cochran's request for a mental
health evaluation, back in early June.
Two women turned over the video to police at the instruction of another
man, Thomas Thompson, a friend of Cochran who was jailed on unrelated rape charges.
Thompson, 39, formerly of
45 Cross St., was sentenced in June to seven to 14 years in prison for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Police reported
that Thompson told a former girlfriend of Cochran's video because he'd heard Cochran was bad-mouthing him.
The videotape allegedly shows Cochran raping and sexually assaulting a 2-year-old girl. The women later turned over computer
discs that included images and video showing another girl whom Cochran allegedly molested, police reported. Cochran's
girlfriend, Katherine Johnson, 37, is accused of helping to pose that girl for the video.
This case is not about a child but nonetheless
tragic as the men wereunable to help themselves and the police should have intervened as they had been called and they saw
one man in a slumped over condition in a public place. Prehaps, the police need more training, compassion or simply
more backing them up in the courts.
Defense asks why police did not intervene
By RUSS CHOMA
New Hampshire Union Leader Correspondent
BRENTWOOD – Defense attorneys pressed an Epping police officer yesterday to admit his department
did not intervene in the relationship between Kenneth Countie and Sheila LaBarre, despite LaBarre's lengthy history of
LaBarre, 49, has admitted to murdering Countie and another boyfriend, Michael Deloge, but is pleading
Yesterday, Epping police Lt. Michael Wallace said he was well aware of statewide suggested protocols dictating
how to intervene in domestic violence situations, but said his department did not do so on several occasions, including an
encounter between Epping police and LaBarre and a sickly looking Countie, just days before he died.
►More on the LaBarre trial
Prosecutors objected before Wallace could answer why his department did not intervene between Countie and LaBarre.
Wallace described an earlier incident in which he and another Epping police officer went to LaBarre's remote horse farm
to do a well-being check on another boyfriend, James Brackett. LaBarre initially refused to come to the door, then shouted
at them from an upstairs window, resisting their requests to show them that Brackett was alive and well. Eventually, LaBarre
"reached down and lifted him up to the window by his hair," Wallace said.
Asked why he and the other officer,
Epping Police Sgt. Sean Gallagher, did not intervene at that point, Wallace said this did not seem to be unusual behavior
"Both Sgt. Gallagher and I viewed that as common behavior from Ms. LaBarre," he said on the stand.
"Mr. Brackett never protested, never indicated he wasn't okay."
Defense attorneys also questioned a number
of other police officers from around the region about various odd contacts they had with LaBarre.
A Somersworth police
officer testified about being called to a rental property Lebarre owned in that town in March 2006 -- just days before Countie
disappeared -- and found the floors torn up, the apartment in disarray and the words, "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the
Lord," scrawled on the wall.
A Hampton police officer described a 1998 incident when LaBarre was arrested for domestic
assault on Brackett, and became disruptive in court as she was being arraigned, insisting that she was bleeding from the vagina
and no one would help her.
Upon cross-examination, the officer said LaBarre refused medical treatment as soon as she
was out of the courtroom.
All of the officers who testified said LaBarre was coherent and focused
on specific complaints when they dealt with her. A psychiatrist who testified for the defense last week said he believes LaBarre
is suffering from paranoid delusions that make her think all men are pedophiles and that she is an avenging angel sent to
protect society or children.
The various police officers who testified yesterday said LaBarre never expressed that sentiment
to them throughout the years they knew her.
New Hampshire State Police detective Jill Rockey, who interrogated LaBarre
for several hours after police first discovered a human bone burning on her front lawn, also testified that LaBarre struck
her as manipulative and controlling. In a tape of the interrogation, LaBarre frequently goes off subject, and Rockey sometimes
struggled to keep her on topic. Rockey testified she believes the ramblings were intentional.
"She would definitely
try to lead us away when we asked a direct question," Rockey recalled. "Depending on the question, if she wanted
to answer it, she would. And if she didn't, she would just try and lead us away."
Rockey said she thought it
was odd how LaBarre gave detailed accounts of old conversations, recited court dates from a tax dispute from several years
earlier, but yet struggled to recall the last conversation she had with Countie -- which would've taken place just days
before the interrogation. During the interview, Rockey had LaBarre sign a consent form allowing police to search her property,
but LaBarre altered the document, crossing out sections that said she gave police the right to use anything they found against
her in a criminal court.
"I thought it was brilliant; I've never seen anyone do that," Rockey said.
Rockey conceded on questioning, the move was not "brilliant" enough to work, as all of the evidence collected during
the search became the foundation for the case against LaBarre.
Several employees of the Epping
Wal-Mart also testified about two incidents in March 2006, just days before Countie disappeared, in which they saw him accompanied
by LaBarre at the store.
During the first incident, LaBarre became angry when she said a woman assaulted Countie, and
then pulled up his shirt, displaying fresh wounds that an assistant manager at the store said "looked like he had been
in a motorcycle accident."
LaBarre threatened a lawsuit and was asked to leave.
On a second visit, Countie's
skin appeared green and he was slumped in a wheelchair. LaBarre piled yellow diesel gas cans into his lap as she pushed him
around. During this incident, LaBarre told the store manager that she was a multi-millionaire attorney, who could shop at
Nieman-Marcus, but chose to shop at the Epping Wal-Mart because "if the clothing line is good enough for Sam Walton,
it's good enough for me."
During this second incident, two Epping police officers briefly spoke with LaBarre,
and tried talking to Countie but were stopped by LaBarre. The two officers testified earlier in the trial that no further
effort to separate the two was made. Countie's name was never actually mentioned in the original incident report.
trial is expected to run longer than originally planned, with the defense continuing their case until at least Tuesday or
Wednesday next week. Then prosecutors will begin their case.
Unlike normal criminal cases, in which the state must prove
a defendant is guilty, the burden is on the defense to prove LaBarre is insane, and the presumption is that she is sane. If
the jury finds that she is insane, she will likely be sent to the secure psychiatric unit at the state prison. Every five
years she would have the opportunity to convince a judge that she is no longer dangerous. If the jury finds she was sane at
the time of the murders, she will be sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.
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