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Gordon Reid

On June 21, 1986, police in Manchester, New Hampshire arrested Gordon Reid and charged him with three counts of sexual assault of a six-year-old girl.
 
Between September 9, 1986 and June 24, 1987, Reid, who was representing himself with standby counsel, filed five motions to compel disclosure of exculpatory evidence.
 
In July 1987, he went to trial in Hillsborough County and cross-examined the prosecution witnesses, including the complainant, who testified that he had sexually assaulted her. On July 23, 1987, the jury acquitted him on one count of sexual assault and convicted him on two counts of sexual assault.
 
Reid filed a motion to vacate the convictions based on the prosecution’s disclosure of documents in September 1988. Among the documents were Manchester Police Department reports from December 1985 and April 1986, which contained information about what appeared to be false allegations made by the complainant against other individuals.
 
Reid also was provided with a New Hampshire Department of Children & Youth Services file on the girl and her family. The file revealed that the girl and her older sister, Wendy, had accused their mother of physically abusing them. The reports related that the girl’s mother engaged in sexual intercourse in the girl’s presence.
 
The mother’s former roommate, described how she had found the girl fellating her four-year-old son in April 1985. The girl’s mother denied the allegations and accused Wendy of making false charges in order to force the mother into allowing Wendy to move in with a boyfriend and because Wendy was under the influence of drugs.
 
Reid contended that the documents established that both the girl and her mother were unreliable, and that the mother had an ulterior motive for fabricating charges against Reid since she had been the subject of the investigation for abuse and neglect.
 
Reid was released on bond while the court reviewed the documents and concluded that the police reports documenting prior allegations of sexual assaults constituted exculpatory impeachment evidence. The documents, the judge ruled, created a reasonable probability that the outcome of Reid’s trial would have been different had the evidence been disclosed since it directly undermined the testimony of the girl and her mother.
 
On October 5, 1988, the judge vacated the two remaining convictions and ordered a new trial.   On November 30, 1988, the prosecution dismissed the charges.

– Maurice Possley
State:NH
County:Hillsborough
Most Serious Crime:Child Sex Abuse
Reported Crime Date:1986
Convicted:1987
Exonerated:1988
Sentence:Not sentenced
Race:Don't Know
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:26
Contributing Factors:Official Misconduct