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Associated Press, Published January 12 2013

Federal court rejects appeal of ND man convicted of sexual abuse

FARGO — A circuit court has rejected the appeal of a North Dakota man sentenced on child sex charges.

A jury in 2009 convicted Anthony Charboneau of sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact of minors. He was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

Charboneau argued on appeal that the district court violated his right to a public trial by closing the courtroom to while one of the alleged victims testified. He also claimed his lawyer made a mistake by not raising that issue on direct appeal.

In denying the complaint, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said closing part of the trail was appropriate to protect the psychological well-being of the child, and the decision by Charboneau's lawyers to pass on an appeal was reasonable because of previous rulings.