Geoff Dornan

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October 18, 2013
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State high court affirms new trial order in sex case

The Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a Washoe District judge’s decision that grants a man a new trial on charges he sexually assaulted a 4-year-old and lewd acts with a 6-year-old.

Judge Jerry Polaha agreed that the lawyer for Hamid Reza Hashemi was ineffective for failing to use evidence in his possession to impeach testimony by the father of the victims. That man also was prosecuted for lewdness with the 6-year-old, pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Hashemi.

To challenge that testimony, trial counsel only presented jurors with the father’s guilty plea.

The high court pointed out that the lawyer had a transcript with the older victim indicating that “she had been sexual with her father on numerous occasions and that it was OK because he was her father. In addition, the lawyer had a copy of the father’s psychosexual exam in which he admitted to sexual contact with the older girl on numerous occasions.

Polaha ruled that was ineffective to the point of being deficient and prejudiced Hashemi’s case, as did the failure to retain an expert to impeach testimony by the sexual assault nurse.

Had jurors heard that evidence, Polaha ruled, “there was a reasonable probability of different outcome at trial.”

Prosecutors appealed to try reinstate the conviction, but the high court panel of Justices Jim Hardesty, Ron Parraguirre and Michael Cherry agreed with Polaha.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Oct 18, 2013 12:23AM Published Oct 18, 2013 12:23AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.