Child Molestation Convictions Overturned

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The state Supreme Court has ruled that a prosecutor’s misconduct warrants a new trial for a Bethel man who was convicted in 2010 of molesting an 8-year-old girl.
The court on Tuesday overturned Michael Maguire’s convictions for felony risk of injury to a minor and misdemeanor sexual assault.

Justices said trial prosecutor Sharmese Hodge made statements during a witness’s testimony and closing arguments that improperly attacked the credibility of and demeaned Maguire and his lawyer. The court said the statements may have affected the verdict of the Danbury Superior Court jury.

A message seeking comment was left for Hodge.

Maguire’s lawyer, Richard Emanuel, said he was reviewing the ruling and had no immediate comment.

Maguire denies inappropriately touching the girl in 2008. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

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