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Jury visits scene in New Hampshire rape trial

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

A jury was selected Monday in the trial of a New Hampshire man accused of raping two Irish students who had been working in America during the summer of 1998.

Jurors were allowed out of the courtroom Monday when they were shown the deserted graveyard in Rockingham County where prosecutors charge Steven Gordon took the two students before allegedly sexually assaulting them at gunpoint.

One of the two unidentified victims is at the trial, which is expected to last until the beginning of next week, according to a spokesman for James Remes, the Rockingham County Prosecutor. Gordon is facing four counts of felonious sexual assault and other charges in Portsmouth County related to kidnapping.

Rockingham County attorneys and Gordon’s lawyer were due to make opening statements to the court on Tuesday afternoon.

Prosecutors have said Gordon forced the two women into a rented car after allegedly abducting them at a nearby beach. After the June assault, police said, Gordon crashed the car into a headstone at the graveyard, allowing investigators to trace his identity.

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Gordon fled the country after the attack, flying first to Amsterdam before traveling to Belgium, where he surrendered to authorities at the American Embassy in Brussels. He was extradited back to the U.S. in February after being held in Belgian custody.

An ex-convict on parole after serving a jail sentence for a previous sexually assault, Gordon is also wanted for questioning in connection with the rape of a New Hampshire real estate agent and a string of local robberies, police said.

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