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Former N.H. State Senator Convicted Of Domestic Violence, Assault

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Allegra Boverman for NHPR
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A jury has found former state Sen. Jeffrey Woodburn guilty on four misdemeanor charges, including a domestic violence charge, following a three-day trial in Coos County Superior Court.

Woodburn, 55, of Whitefield was found guilty of one count of domestic violence, one count of simple assault, and two counts of criminal mischief. The jury found him not guilty of three counts of simple assault, one count of domestic violence, and one count of criminal trespass.

The charges are Class A misdemeanor counts, which carry a maximum sentence of one year.

During testimony in the trial, Woodburn and his victim, Emily Jacobs, described meeting as active members of the state Democratic Party. Their friendship evolved into a relationship, and the two eventually were engaged to be married.

Both described the other as controlling; Jacobs charged Woodburn with biting her, throwing a cup of water at her, and punching her in the stomach. Woodburn, in his defense, said Jacobs held all the power in the relationship and described her as physically aggressive against him.

Through her lawyer, Jacobs issued a statement following the verdict: "Today, justice was served, and as a survivor of domestic violence, I was believed. I am grateful to the jury for convicting the defendant of domestic violence, holding him accountable for his acts of violence against me. Many victims of domestic violence do not come forward out of fear of retaliation or that they will not be believed.  I too had that fear, especially in light of the political position and influence held by the defendant. I hope that this verdict will encourage other victims to report allegations of abuse, and that we will see a day when all perpetrators are held accountable. “

Both Woodburn and Jacobs said they lost their jobs because of the charges: his for a non-profit, and Jacobs as a social worker. Woodburn also lost his re-election to the state Senate following his arrest.

The courtroom has been closed for the trial. The press and public watch the proceedings from an adjacent courtroom via live-stream video in keeping with new court protocols in domestic violence cases.