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Sep 21, 2016 6:36 PM

Family asks Supreme Court to keep Lizzi Marriott's sexual past private


CONCORD — The state supreme court is deciding whether to release the sexual past of murder victim Lizzi Marriott, while the man found guilty is appealing his conviction.

Seth Mazzaglia, 32, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2014 for the 2012 death of UNH sophomore Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott.

Victim’s rights advocates and Marriott’s family filed a brief with the court in August following a Supreme Court ruling that would have unsealed information about Marriott’s sexual history.

The lower court ruled Marriott’s past was irrelevant for the trial.

Now, Mazzaglia’s attorney has argued that the information is critical in his appeal efforts.

Allowing Marriott's sexual history to be released would go against the New Hampshire’s 1975 Rape Shield Law.

“The Supeme Court would undo 40 years of settled case law that says that victims deserve privacy and protections in the court system,” said Lyn Schollett, the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

The state is also seeking an unprecedented request - to close the court during oral arguments, restricting public and media access.

“We’re not seeking to downplay the important right to public access,” said Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinkley, “but, on rare occasions, constitutional right gives way to other compelling interests and this case is one of those unique rare cases in which some limited safeguards should be used.”

Mazzaglia’s Attorney Christopher Johnson said that “(the information) should be accessible; that’s the point. Nobody has to broadcast it from the rooftops.”

The court has taken the arguments under consideration. There’s no timeline on when a decision will be reached.

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