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Request for new trial granted in Fraga case

WORTHINGTON --A petition for post-conviction relief, specifically a request for a new trial, has been granted in the case against Josue Fraga, who was accused in 2008 of murdering his 2-year-old niece.

Fraga was convicted of the murder in May 2009, but in early 2011 the possibility of a new trial began to be explored after Fraga's defense attorneys stated they had evidence that Fraga's eldest son, who was 13 at the time of his cousin's death, lied during his testimony. When asked if he had ever had sexual contact with the girl, the son said he had not. Later, it was discovered he had allegedly fondled the child several times.

The defense requested an evidentiary hearing, which took place in November 2011.

That hearing introduced for the record new testimony of the eldest daughter, who said she witnessed her father assault the child. The daughter, who was 12 at the time of the murder, said her father had been sexually molesting her since she was very young.

The order, written by Senior Judge Timothy Connell, states the argument centers on the appropriate standard set forth in Larrison versus United States, which deals with the area of recanted, perjured or false testimony. The new evidence offered by the daughter, Connell states, does not impact the decision to give Fraga a new trial.

For more on the story, see Thursday's Daily Globe.