The state Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a Newark middle-school librarian who was convicted of sexually assaulting two students in 2002.

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In a unanimous ruling issued Tuesday, the justices noted that evidence which could have cleared Askia Nash of wrongdoing began to surface shortly after he was convicted in 2002. They said anyone in that situation deserves a swift retrial and questioned why it took several years for that to happen in this case.

Nash, now 51, served nine years of his 22-year sentence in state prison before he was paroled last September.

Two 12-year-old special-needs students had accused Nash of molesting them from 1999 to 2000. He was acquitted of all charges involving one student, but convicted of molesting the other youth.


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