Towle sentenced to 57-114 years on sexual assault charges

By Debra Thornblad
A former Berlin man, convicted on sexual assault charges, has been sentenced to 57 – 114 years in state prison. Robert Towle, 41, will be at least 98 years old before he finishes his sentence.
Towle was convicted by a Coos County jury on January 29 for the second time on charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault and accomplice to felonious sexual assault on a juvenile under the age of 13. The crimes were committed in Berlin where Towle was living at the time.
Towle had originally been indicted in October 2009 on nine counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and four counts of criminal liability for the conduct of another. He was found guilty on four charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault and the four criminal liability charges in 2010. He appealed the conviction and the N.H. Supreme Court overturned the verdict.
According to Coos County Attorney John McCormick the Supreme Court overturned the verdict because Towle at some point during the prior proceedings had expressed a desire to serve as his own attorney, which is his right. The higher court ruled the superior court judge should have pursued that idea further with Towle at that time.
The new trial began on Jan. 14 with Towle serving as his own attorney. The trial lasted nine days and the jury returned a verdict the next day.