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.

WALPOLE TEACHER IS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD

…And yet again we have a story in which a Massachusetts teacher is implicated in a sex crime. This time, it is not Possession of Child Pornography, but the actual sexual assault of a child.

MyFoxBoston tells us that a teacher, or now former such thing, at Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole has been charged with the sexual assault of a child.

Said educator, according to court documents, is 50-year-old John Williamson (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). Specifically, the Defendant is alleged to have raped an 8-year-old boy at his garage apartment in Norwood on July 10th.

According to the Commonwealth, the Defendant met the boy’s mother at Norwood Agricultural High School. Her husband had passed away in 2009, and the Defendant moved into the garage apartment on her property to help with her two boys and to work around the house.

The allegation came to the mother’s attention upon the occasion of hearing her son swear. The Commonwealth indicates that the mother asked him where he heard the word and, according to court documents, he said, “I’m not supposed to tell you, I’ll be in big trouble. John told me not to tell you.”

A clear warning flare to even the most casual observer.

This mother was certainly not being casual about it. She pressed her son for answers. According to the story, what he told her was mostly too graphic to share, but he did tell his mother that the Defendant had a “funny way of washing me.”

He went on to tell her that he had been raped, five times in one day, the court documents said.

The mother called law enforcement immediately. After the police investigation, they arrested the Defendant in Medway and he was arraigned in court hours later.

The Defendant is facing charges of indecent assault and battery on a child with two counts of rape. A judge set $10,000 cash bail.

    Attorney Sam’s Take On The Defendant At Issue

Folks used to assume that if a criminal defendant was of a minority, had a criminal record or was simply economically disadvantaged, then such a defendant would “get the book thrown at him”. Conversely, if the suspect were Caucasian and a professional, then that defendant would simply get a “slap on the hand”.

Not any more. Not with this type of crime.

Indeed, particularly in these types of cases, someone in a position of responsibility such as the Defendant tends to be someone through whom the prosecution often likes to send a message.

There are a couple of messages the prosecutors like to send in these cases. They include:

“You see? Even those who seem to be in a powerful or significant position are treated just like ‘any other criminal defendant’. There is no special treatment for them.”;

“We are extra tough on those who misuse their position of authority.” It’s kind of the underbelly of “With great power comes great responsibility; and

“Remember this come election time, folks! We are no-nonsense when it comes to protecting your kids from vicious criminals!”.

So, you can take this as good news or bad news. The good news is that, at least in such cases, any such suspect will receive similar treatment from the prosecution, no matter the race, sex or background.

The bad news is that, even if you feel you have some sympathetic aspects to your position as defendant…they are not likely to matter too much. Your role as defendant is bigger than your particular circumstances.

You may feel that this is unfair. Maybe it is. But it is reality.

If you find yourself charged with such a life-altering allegation, my advice is you had best have a criminal lawyer who is experienced and understands this.

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