- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts’ highest court has granted a new trial to a man convicted of using a knife to threaten three teenage girls as they walked to school.

The Supreme Judicial Court said Wednesday police used “impermissibly coercive tactics” while questioning Charles Monroe, making his incriminating statements involuntary. The court said Monroe’s statements were pivotal to the prosecution’s case.

Monroe was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison following his conviction on charges including aggravated kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and indecent assault and battery. One girl told police Monroe raped her, but he was acquitted of rape.

The girls said Monroe confronted them as they walked to school in Worcester in October 2010.

Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early says he is disappointed but respects the court’s ruling, and plans to re-try Monroe.

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