New Hampshire v. Hollenbeck, Jr.Annotate this Case
The State appealed a superior court order that dismissed charges filed against Defendant Burton Hollenbeck, Jr. because it determined that the statute upon which they were based violated Defendant's state and federal substantive due process rights. Defendant was a licensed psychologist who provided services to the complainant in 2007. Less than a year after the therapy ended, the two became sexually involved. In April 2010, defendant was charged with thirty counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault (AFSA) for engaging in sexual penetration with the complainant between February 1, 2008, and December 9, 2008. The indictments alleged that by engaging in sexual penetration with the complainant "within one year of the termination of their therapeutic relationship," defendant "act[ed] in a manner which is not professionally recognized as ethical," thereby violating RSA 632-A:2, I(g)(1). In December 2010, defendant moved to dismiss the indictments, arguing, inter alia, that RSA 632-A:2, I(g)(1) violated his state and federal rights to substantive due process because it "criminalizes the private sexual conduct of consenting adults." The trial court agreed, and this appeal followed. Because defendant did not meet his burden of proving that RSA 632-A:2, I(g)(1) was not rationally related to a legitimate governmental purpose in all circumstances, the Supreme Court concluded after its review of the case that his facial challenge failed. The Court reached the same result under the Federal Constitution as it did under the State Constitution because the Federal Constitution offers the defendant no greater protection than does the State Constitution under these circumstances.