CONCORD, New Hampshire (CBS/AP) — A man convicted of killing a University of New Hampshire student has been denied a new trial.

Prosecutors say Seth Mazzaglia strangled 19-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott in 2012 and dumped her body in a river. Mazzaglia says the Westborough, Massachusetts, woman died accidentally during a consensual sex act.

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Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott. (Family Photo)

Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott. (Family Photo)

Mazzaglia is serving a life sentence after being convicted of murder. He appealed his conviction, saying his attorneys should have been allowed to introduce evidence of Marriott’s past sexual interest. But the state Supreme Court rejected his appeal Tuesday.

In June, the state Supreme Court ruled that information about Marriott’s sexual past that was sealed during the trial should be made public during the appeals process, but it later reversed itself after prosecutors and Marriott’s family objected.

In a statement, Lizzi’s father, Bob Marriott, said Lizzi’s family was relieved that Mazzaglia’s appeal was denied.

“We remain devastated over the loss of our daughter Lizzi and wish that we could see where she would be today had she not been murdered,” he said. “For over four years we have had to travel down a path we did not choose and did not want to be on.  We know that we will be reminded of Lizzi’s loss every day for the rest of our lives, but we hope that we will be able to begin to move on now that this chapter in our lives has come to a close. We would like to thank everyone who has stood behind us and supported us through this ordeal.”

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Seth Mazzaglia in Strafford County Superior Court, Aug. 14, 2014. (WBZ-TV)

Seth Mazzaglia in Strafford County Superior Court, Aug. 14, 2014. (WBZ-TV)

Amanda Grady Sexton, Public Policy Director of the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens she’s relieved that the court upheld the state’s Rape Shield Law, which protects victims from having their past history used against them in court.

“We’ve heard from a number of rape victims who had been reluctant to come forward knowing that the Supreme Court may strike down that law, and decide to allow defense attorneys to allow irrelevant information–and sometimes alleged information–about their past histories in a courtroom.” she said.

She said that, with the ruling, not only will Mazzaglia spend the rest of his life in prison, but rape victims in New Hampshire can know that, if their case goes to trial, their past will not be part of the trial.

“Today the dignity and privacy of Lizzi Marriot has protected and justice has certainly been served, but we also know that this decision has a huge impact on all rape victims who can now come forward with the peace of mind that the court is not going to focus their attention on irrelevant information on them, and things that may or may not have occurred in their past sexual history, but rather, they’re going to focus their attention on the crimes of the rapist,” she said.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

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