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Coughlin convicted of child sexual assault

Coughlin convicted of child sexual assault

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A Lyndon Station man was convicted of five counts of child sexual assault during a jury trial that concluded Friday evening at the Juneau County Justice Center.

Daniel J. Coughlin, 52, was found guilty of two counts of first degree sexual assault of a child and three counts of second degree sexual assault of a child. Coughlin pleaded not guilty to all five counts.

The first offense dates back to July, 1989 with alleged subsequent offenses occurring through May, 1992. Coughlin allegedly sexually assaulted two boys who worked on his farm during that time. A previous trial ended in a mistrial in July, 2013 due to the lead investigator not being able to provide video recordings of interviews with the alleged victims for both the defense and prosecution. Juneau County Sheriff’s Detective Shaun Goyette said he had technical problems making copies of the interviews.

In January, 2014, Coughlin’s defense attorney David Ganzer requested that Circuit Judge John Roemer dismiss the case, due to an alleged constitutional violation, but Roemer denied the request. Due to the complexity of the case, the criminal trial was prosecuted by the state attorney general’s office and not the Juneau County district attorney. Assistant Attorney General Richard Dufour oversaw the prosecution in last week’s trial.

The second trial began on Dec. 14 and concluded on Friday. Coughlin will be back in court for a sentencing hearing on March 29 at 9 a.m.

Coughlin’s older brother, Donald, was found guilty of 22 felony counts of second degree sexual assault of a child, including charges of sexual contact with a child younger than 13 years old and child enticement. The alleged acts date back to 1985 and Coughlin was convicted in June.

Five men said Coughlin allegedly performed sexual acts on them as children. Today the men are in their early 20s to early 30s. Coughlin has served as Lyndon Station’s fire chief and village president.

In November, defense attorney Daniel Berkos filed a motion to vacate the previous conviction and pursue a new trial. A scheduling conference was held on Dec. 4 and an oral ruling is scheduled on Feb. 2 at 9 a.m.

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