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.

FOUR PITTSFIELD MEN ARE CHARGED WITH RAPING A UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS STUDENT

Yesterday, I left off responding to what I meant when I said that an arrest for engaging in the sex trade, either as consumer or worker, should be taken extremely seriously…which I will.

First, however, let’s look at yesterday’s court action with regard to the other side of the sexual crime coin. The crime of rape.

Yesterday, in Belchertown, MA,, the court heard the arraignment of four Pittsfield men (hereinafter, collectively, the “Defendants”) who stand accused of raping an 18-year-old University of Massachusetts Amherst student inside her dorm room on October 13th.

Bail was set at $10,000 cash for each of the Defendants. The judge also set conditions in the event they do post bail, ordering them, among other things, to undergo GPS monitoring, observe a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., and not to contact the alleged victim or witnesses.

According to law enforcement, the Defendants had texted the complainant, saying they wanted to stop by her dormitory. She allegedly told them not to come. They are said to have come anyway. Finding the door unlocked, they found that she was not home.

So they allegedly went in, of course.

When she returned, she is said to have agreed to let the Defendants stay and that she would socialize with them.

According to the Commonwealth, one of the Defendants shut off the lights at some point and the complainant was then stripped and repeatedly raped. After several sexual assaults, three of the men left and one stayed behind to rape her again.

Defense attorneys, citing police reports, argued that the woman had admitted to the investigators that she had drank beers and smoked marijuana while the men were in her room, as well as drinking eight or nine shots of vodka.

Both the Commonwealth and the defense agreed that the woman had texted one of the Defendants the next day, accusing the four According to both the prosecutor and defense, woman texted one of the Defendant the following day, accusing the four of raping her. He apparently texted back an apology.

According to the defense, the woman also texted that if each of the Defendants would pay her $500 cash, then she would not report the incident to the police. The Defendants say that they were working on that when they were arrested.

While the prosecutor admitted that the texting took place, the ADA said that it was not an attempt to blackmail but, rather, a “safety tactic”. She was misleading the Defendants into believing she might not report the incident.

The Defendants were arrested on Friday – almost a week later – at four separate locations in Pittsfield.

District Court Judge Mary Hurley said the incident was the worst assault she had heard of in her career as a judge. “Never in my time on the bench have I heard such an egregious recounting of facts,” Hurley said from the bench. She set another hearing for December 10th.



Attorney Sam’s Take On Rape Allegations

Of course, the Defendants have pleaded “not guilty” to these allegations. You can see how seriously that plea is taken by everybody else.

Rape remains one of those criminal allegations which brings about a strong emotional response. I cannot tell you how many cases I have brought to trial where, during jury selection, jurors admit that they have already decided that my client is guilty.

This is why, if you are accused of such a crime, you want to have a lawyer who is experienced in these types of cases representing you. For me, this case already has many issues in it which signal a potentially strong defense. However, if I were not as experienced in sexual assault cases (from both sides of the isle), I might not recognize them.

“Well, that is great, Sam, but what does it have to do with yesterday’s blog?”

Both have to do with that incendiary topic of sex.

For both types of cases, especially since the Commonwealth now has its shiny new tool to make prostitution cases seem more important, they have to be handled with great care.

“So, what should I do if I am accused of either ‘human trafficking’ or rape?”

Let’s start with that tomorrow.

For the original story upon which this blog was based, please go to http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/10/22/four-pittsfield-men-arrested-alleged-rape-umass-student/b2gqlmtlNyhzg3m3tayVXM/story.html

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