New Hampshire v. WilburAnnotate this Case
Defendant Jason Wilbur was the former stepfather of the alleged victim (child) in the case. In 2007, the child disclosed she had been sexually assaulted by defendant. Defendant was subsequently indicted on charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault (AFSA), but the State nol prossed the charges in April 2009. In 2010, defendant was re-indicted on: (1) one count of AFSA alleging a single act of digital penetration; (2) one count of AFSA alleging a pattern of digital penetration; (3) one count of AFSA alleging a single act of penile penetration; and (4) one count of AFSA alleging a pattern of penile penetration. In May 2011, a jury found defendant guilty on the two counts of AFSA alleging digital penetration, and acquitted him on the two counts of penile penetration. The New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed the convictions on direct appeal. In June 2014, defendant moved for a new trial, which the trial court denied following an evidentiary hearing. This appeal followed; defendant alleged his trial counsel’s performance was constitutionally deficient in four respects: (1) failure to rebut the State’s characterization of the defendant’s statement to the police; (2) lack of preparation of the mother for her testimony; (3) introduction of evidence of a prior sexual assault committed against the child by another person without a reasonable strategy; and (4) failure to object to opinion testimony given by a child protective services (CPS) worker. Because the Supreme Court agreed with defendant with respect to claims (1) and (4), the Court found it unnecessary to examine claims (2) and (3). The matter was reversed and remanded for further proceedings.