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Lawyer defending New Hampshire in youth center abuse trial attacks former resident's credibility

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Lawyer defending New Hampshire in youth center abuse trial attacks former resident's credibility
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News

Lawyer defending New Hampshire in youth center abuse trial attacks former resident's credibility

2024-04-23 05:23 Last Updated At:05:31

BRENTWOOD, N.H. (AP) — A lawyer defending the state of New Hampshire against abuse allegations at its youth detention center attacked the plaintiff’s credibility Monday, suggesting he was a troublemaker who was appropriately punished as a teen and is now a delusional adult seeking a payout.

David Meehan, 42, who says he was repeatedly raped, beaten and locked in solitary confinement at the Youth Development Center in Manchester in the late 1990s, went to police in 2017 and sued the state three years later. Since then, 11 former state workers have been arrested, and more than 1,100 former residents have filed lawsuits claiming the state’s negligence allowed abuse spanning six decades.

Meehan’s lawsuit was the first to go to trial earlier this month. He returned to the witness stand Monday to face further cross-examination by Martha Gaythwaite, a Maine lawyer representing the state along with several assistant attorneys general. She started by asking Meehan multiple questions about the crimes that landed him in the facility and his early experiences with gangs, sex and drugs.

“Back before you ever got to YDC, there were events in your life that were quite troubling,” she said. Meehan agreed with that statement, but denied any gang affiliation and said he lied as a teen about drugs and sex to appear tough.

“Were you giving disinformation then or are you giving disinformation now?” Gaythwaite asked.

“I was a child,” he answered.

Gaythwaite also tried to cast doubt on Meehan’s testimony that he contracted gonorrhea from being raped by a male staffer at age 15. She noted that he sought medical treatment after returning from a furlough “covered with hickeys” from his then-girlfriend, now wife. She questioned him at length about him being disciplined for going AWOL and planning to escape. And she showed him log books that described him injuring his groin playing football, not from a violent rape that involved being dragged outside and left on a field as he has described.

“You would agree, sir, that the record that was written at the time … while the events were taking place is more accurate than a 24-year-old memory?” she asked.

“These are not my words,” he said. “That’s not what happened.”

The line of questioning highlighted the unusual dynamic in which the attorney general’s office is both prosecuting former workers and defending the state against the allegations in the civil lawsuits. While one team of state lawyers will be relying on Meehan’s testimony in the criminal trials, another is trying to undermine his credibility in his civil trial.

Though she apologized several times for “having to ask these questions,” Gaythwaite pressed Meehan on his mental health history, including an incident in which his wife had him committed to a psychiatric facility.

“The same year, 2020, when you're out on the balcony screaming uncontrollably and telling people you thought you were royalty and a biblical figure, that is the same year that you filed this lawsuit against my client, the Department of Health and Human Services, claiming there was a widespread culture of abuse,” she said.

The state argues that not only should it not be held liable for the actions of “rogue” employees, but that Meehan waited too long to come forward. The statute of limitations for such lawsuits is three years from the date of injury, though there are exceptions in cases when victims were not aware of its link to the wrongful party. Gaythwaite asked several questions suggesting he was aware of a possible claim against the state years before he sued, but he denied that was the case.

Throughout the day, Meehan answered questions calmly but grew emotional later when asked by his lawyer about the impact of having to describe the abuse to investigators, medical professionals, lawyers and now a jury.

"What, I’m the bad guy? I was a bad kid so I deserved it? Or I was a bad kid, so that proves I’m a bad man now, and I (expletive) it made it up?" he said. “That hurts.”

Youth Development Center. plaintiff David Meehan testifies as his intake photo, when he was 14 is displayed during his civil trial at Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, N.H. on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (David Lane/Union Leader via AP, Pool)

Youth Development Center. plaintiff David Meehan testifies as his intake photo, when he was 14 is displayed during his civil trial at Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, N.H. on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (David Lane/Union Leader via AP, Pool)

Youth Development Center plaintiff David Meehan walks out of the courtroom during a break in his civil trial at Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, N.H. on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (David Lane/Union Leader via AP, Pool)

Youth Development Center plaintiff David Meehan walks out of the courtroom during a break in his civil trial at Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, N.H. on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (David Lane/Union Leader via AP, Pool)

Attorney Rus Rilee, left, comforts his client, David Meehan, before Meehan took the stand in his civil trial against the Youth Development Center in his civil trial at Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, N.H. on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (David Lane/Union Leader via AP, Pool)

Attorney Rus Rilee, left, comforts his client, David Meehan, before Meehan took the stand in his civil trial against the Youth Development Center in his civil trial at Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood, N.H. on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (David Lane/Union Leader via AP, Pool)

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Duran homers and steals home as Red Sox beat Rays 5-2

2024-05-22 10:26 Last Updated At:10:32

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jarren Duran homered and stole home as the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Duran scored to make it 4-2 during a double steal with Rafael Devers in a go-ahead, two-run eighth against Jason Adam (2-1). Duran headed home after Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt tried to throw Devers out at second and beat a return throw to the plate with a head-first slide.

“Stealing home to get us an extra run is always awesome,” Duran said.

Devers had his team record of homering in six consecutive games end. Only nine players have gone deep in seven straight games. Ken Griffey Jr. (1993), Don Mattingly (1987) and Dale Long (1956) share the longest streak with eight.

“It was great run there,” Boston manager Alex Cora said, “It's amazing.”

Devers singled in three at-bats for an 11-game hitting streak, He was intentionally walked in the decisive eighth that saw Wilyer Abreu hit a tiebreaking single earlier in the inning.. It was Devers' first stolen base this season,

“It makes me happy to help the team win,” Devers said through a translator.

Rays manager Kevin Cash called the double steal a “good play by them.”

By winning the first two games of a three-game set, the Red Sox won their first road series against the Rays since July 22-24, 2019. Boston moved back over .500 at 25-24.

The Rays have dropped a season high-tying three straight games and fell to 25-25.

Duran homered leading off the sixth off Rays starter Zack Littell to tie it at 2. Reese McGuire had a solo drive in the ninth.

“With the new rules and everything, he’s the perfect player for this environment,” Cora said of Duran. “He can run, he can hit it out of the ballpark. He’s a good defender.”

Tampa Bay has allowed a major league-leading 41 homers at home.

Greg Weissert (2-1) struck out two in a perfect seventh and Kenley Jansen worked the ninth to get his 14th save in 17 chances..

Isaac Paredes put the Rays up 2-0 on a two-run single against Cooper Criswell in the first. Boston got within 2-1 on a second-inning RBI single by Vaughn Grissom.

Littell gave up two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings. Criswell allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Cora said reliever Liam Hendriks (Tommy John surgery) is “trending in the right direction” and remains optimistic the right-hander will be back this season. … DH Masataka Yoshida (strained left thumb) is getting treatment and “improving but not there yet to do baseball activities,” according to Cora. … 1B Triston Casas (strained left ribs) has added throwing to his workout program.

Rays: SS Taylor Walls, out all season following right hip surgery, went 0 for 2 and played five innings of defense in his first game with the rookie-level FCL Rays.

UP NEXT

Rays RHP Ryan Pepiot (3-2, 3.68 ERA) will make his first start Wednesday night since getting hit in the lower left leg by an 107.5 mph liner by the New York Mets’ Starling Marte on May 5. RHP Brayan Bello (4-2, 3.96 ERA) will be the Boston starter.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Duran celebrates his solo home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zack Littell with third base coach Kyle Hudson (84) during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Duran celebrates his solo home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zack Littell with third base coach Kyle Hudson (84) during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Duran (16) steals home plate ahead of the throw to Tampa Bay Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Duran (16) steals home plate ahead of the throw to Tampa Bay Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Dura reacts after steal home plate against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Jarren Dura reacts after steal home plate against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Ceddanne Rafaela, left, scores behind Tampa Bay Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt on an RBI single by Wilyer Abreu during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Ceddanne Rafaela, left, scores behind Tampa Bay Rays catcher Ben Rortvedt on an RBI single by Wilyer Abreu during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Wilyer Abreu hits an RBI single off Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jason Adam during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Boston's Ceddanne Rafaela scored on the play. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox's Wilyer Abreu hits an RBI single off Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jason Adam during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Boston's Ceddanne Rafaela scored on the play. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers fields a ground ball by Tampa Bay Rays' Amed Rosario and gets the force play on Isaac Paredes during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers fields a ground ball by Tampa Bay Rays' Amed Rosario and gets the force play on Isaac Paredes during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena, right, celebrates his double off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Cooper Criswell during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Looking on is Boston Red Sox second baseman Vaughn Grissom. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena, right, celebrates his double off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Cooper Criswell during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Looking on is Boston Red Sox second baseman Vaughn Grissom. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Cooper Criswell delivers to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Cooper Criswell delivers to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zack Littell delivers to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Zack Littell delivers to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena (56) scores ahead of the throw to Boston Red Sox catcher Reese McGuire on a two-run single by Isaac Paredes during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. looking on is home plate umpire Vic Carapazza. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena (56) scores ahead of the throw to Boston Red Sox catcher Reese McGuire on a two-run single by Isaac Paredes during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in St. Petersburg, Fla. looking on is home plate umpire Vic Carapazza. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

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