Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY STUDENT GETS PLEA DEAL IN SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE

As we have discussed in the past, one never knows what is going to happen when a criminal matter makes its way through the criminal justice system. This is but one reason if any criminal attorney starts making guarantees as to a particular result to you…it is time to run as fast as you can away from that attorney.

Corey N. Trivino is 22 years old. Corey N. Trivino was the one-time top scorer for Boston University’s hockey team. Corey N. Trivinio is hereinafter referred to as the “Defendant”.

Actually, he is also now to be known as the probationer as of yesterday. You see, he has pleaded guilty to the crime of assault and battery. The case involved accosting the woman inside her dormitory room in December.

You see, according to the Commonwealth, the 23-year-old woman went to the Defendant’s door because of the noise. The Defendant, alleged to be drunk, then followed her back to her room. There, the 6-foot-1 190 pound athlete was alleged to have repeatedly tried to force himself on the woman.

More specifically, law enforcement reported that the Defendant refused to leave her room, started kissing her and groped her breast area.

Finally, perhaps suddenly overcome by a moment of good judgment, the Defendant left her room. However, once that moment’s inspiration left him, he returned to her door and banged upon it.

She opened the door slightly, but the Defendant apparently forced the door open and tried to kiss her. She managed to push him away. Despite her telling him to leave, the Defendant continued to kiss her until she was successful in pushing him out of the door.

Naturally, the Defendant returned yet again, forcing his way
inside the room according to police. This time, he is said to have grabbed her arms and pushed her toward her desk, kissing her. According to the complainant, he held her arms “very tight”.

Finally, the Defendant is said to have changed tactics. He sat on her bed, demanded that he was going to sleep there that night, took off his shoes and laid down.

The Boston University police were called and, inside the elevator, the officers bumped into the Defendant who was apparently giving up the evening’s festivities.

The officers reported, “A very intoxicated male got on the elevator with us…This male identified himself as [the Defendant]” and said that he was a resident of the building. When asked to identify his room number…he named the woman’s room.

Clearly, she refuted the claim.

The Defendant was arrested.

Yesterday, during the plea hearing, the complainant gave a victim impact statement, explaining how the attack had affected “every ounce” of her being”.

For his part, the Defendant apologized.

The Defendant was sentenced to two years’ probation. He must remain drug-and-alcohol-free, attend weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, receive a mental health evaluation, and have no contact with the victim as well as the usual conditions, such as not breaking any laws. After his arrest, he was kicked off the BU hockey team, although he has been drafted by the New York Islanders in 2008. He is scheduled to attend an NHL camp later this year.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Breaking Down Sex Charges

First of all, understand that I have no “inside information” or involvement in this matter. Otherwise, of course, I would be prohibited from blogging about it.

However, there are a few things I can tell you about what happened behind the scenes here given my experience in the criminal justice arena.

The facts as alleged do not simply make out a misdemeanor assault and battery case, which is what he was allowed to plead guilty to. They make out, at the very least, several charges of simple assault and batteryas well as indecent assault and battery, not to mention attempted rape. The latter of these are felony charges and a conviction under them would mean that the Defendant would be a registered sex offender.

Now, I do not know whether the Commonwealth agreed to the sentence of probation. Under the law, a judge can give a lesser sentence than the Commonwealth requests so long as the statutes involved do not prohibit it. However, the judge cannot simply dismiss charges in a plea bargain without the consent of the Commonwealth. This means that, assuming the Defendant was accurately charged in the first place, the Commonwealth at least agreed to dismiss any sex-related charges so that the plea bargain could go through. Thus, one way or another, the Commonwealth went along with this arrangement.

“So, what’s the big deal, Sam? As a defense attorney, don’t you applaud someone getting a break?”

Actually, when the circumstances call for it, yes I do. And, for all I know, the circumstances called for it in this case. This kid seems to have a great future ahead and it would be a shame to ruin because of one stupid drunken night. On the other hand, this (let’s face it) sexual assault was clearly traumatic for this complainant. Further, there are many folks who get drunk and act stupid without stooping to sexual assault…!

Of course, since this conviction does not ruin the Defendant’s future, he might now be a good target for a civil law suit because of the allegations. Particularly since he has now admitted his guilt under oath.

But then, an excellent basis for a lawsuit is not the point in this blog.

The point is that many prosecutors do take circumstances into account when they, and their office, feels that it is right to do so. Compare that with the countless times a defense attorney brooches the possibility of breaking a sexual assault down to a simple assault and battery to save the client from being a registered sex offender and being met with blinking blank eyes explaining, “But, that is now what the facts indicate. The facts indicate it was a sexual assault. He touched her breast and kissed her.”

By the way, in case you are wondering, forced kissing is indecent assault and battery.

The bottom line here?

Many people still expect continuity and consistency when it comes to prosecution. It does not really exist. The fact that Ricky Rapist down the street was allowed to plead guilty to straight assault and battery and probation does not mean that you will necessarily do any better than a sex-related conviction and time in custody for the same, or similar, allegations.

The truest answer to the question of “what kind of deal do you think we can make” is “It depends”.

It depends on the prosecutor, the prosecutor’s office policy, the judge, the facts, the sun, the moon, the stars and….oh yes, your defense attorney.

There are only two of those factors that you can control. One is the facts…as in never being in the position of being accused of a crime. The other is to choose an experienced criminal defense attorney in whom you have confidence. One who will care and will do all that is possible to improve the situation for you.

For the original story upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/08/07/hockey-player-corey-trivino-admits-assaulting-woman-boston-university-dorm/CiD3dl6ZS3y2d4rEOER9EJ/story.html

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