2016 trial date set for man charged with kidnapping, raping New Hampshire teen over 9 months

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LACONIA, New Hampshire — A man charged with kidnapping a 14-year-old girl and raping her over the course of nine months will go on trial in March 2016, a judge ordered Monday.

Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler said jury selection will begin March 21 for Nathaniel Kibby, of Gorham.

Prosecutors say Kibby, 34, kidnapped the girl on her way home from school in Conway on Oct. 9, 2013, then imprisoned her in his house and a storage unit until July 2014, when she returned home. Police have not explained the circumstances of her return.

Kibby, who was not in court Monday, was arrested in July and initially charged in Carroll County with five counts, including kidnapping the girl at gunpoint. A separate, 200-count indictment in Coos County charges him with using death threats, a stun gun, zip ties and a shock collar to control her as he sexually assaulted her at his trailer home in the northern New Hampshire town of Gorham.

Prosecutors also say he ordered his captive to lie to police and help him destroy evidence. The Carroll County indictments say she spotted his full name inside a cookbook in his home and revealed that information to investigators days after she returned.

Last month, Superior Court Chief Justice Tina Nadeau ordered that the trial would be consolidated and held in Belknap County.

Law enforcement agencies and media outlets, including The Associated Press, repeatedly published the girl's name and image after she disappeared. The girl's family and prosecutors have asked that her name and image no longer be published because they fear the publicity and association with sexual abuse will slow her recovery.

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