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Aug 26, 2016 5:51 PM

Psychologist sentenced for sexual assault of 12-year-old patient

CONCORD — Emotions ran high at Merrimack County Superior Court today as a psychologist was sentenced after being convicted of aggravated sexual assault.

The courtroom was packed as Dr. Foad Afshar learned his fate. He was convicted for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy he was treating in January, 2016.

The victim’s sister testified in court, saying "counseling is a place where you should feel comfortable and safe, where you should be able to relax and speak your mind. It is not a place where someone can abuse your trust, and take advantage of you. That is exactly what Dr. Afshar did.

But there were many in the court who believed he was wrongly convicted. The group of supporters, wearing stickers that read “Justice for Foad,” said that finding a child psychologist is already difficult, and any false accusations could deter new people from entering the field. They created a group called “Friends of Foad” to show their support.

Robin Lacouture, a former student, said "he's one of the most caring people I know and I just want justice…someone that's worked so hard to help people and to have this happen it's…going to be very difficult for people in the profession.”

Afshar withdrew his request to ask for a new trial earlier in the day. Judge Diane Nicolosi sentenced him to three-to-six years in prison, and he also will have to pay fines.

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