Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

Well, how was your weekend?

If one reads the Boston Herald about the news this past weekend, one might walk away with a bit of a sickened feeling…and a desire to avoid parties and other places where kids might be.

Let’s first turn to Springfield.

The Herald tells us about two men stabbed at a house party early Saturday. Police Lt. Richard LaBelle said that one of the men had serious stab wounds and had been rushed to Bay state Medical Center. He was in “stable condition” at the time of the story. The second man stabbed had non-life threatening injuries.

The incicdent apparently took place on Manhattan Street at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The men were found outside by police. One was in a car, and the second was lying on the ground.
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I wish I could say “you don’t see this everyday…” but that would probably not be true.

We have always had people engaging in sexual crimes. However, the norms of what used to be acceptable (kind of) have changed. The bottom line is that one cannot force another person to have sex with them.

It does not matter if it is a husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend or even prostitute and client.

And even if the soon-to-be complainant is not inclined to make a criminal case out of it, she might not have a choice. Once it is reported, it is the state or federal government’s case and they are going to run with it. Further, the crime of rape is not merely a sex crime anymore if it happens among those in a romantic or family relationship…it is also considered domestic violence.
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Jaime Fuentes ,48, is/was a prison guard at the infamous maximum security state prison,Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. As of Wednesday, he is the “Defendant”. He was living in Worcester. Now he in custody, held without bail.

Of course, if what the Commonwealth says about him is true, he now has more to talk about with his former prisoners.

Monday he is scheduled to have his very own Dangerous Hearing.

Well, it has been quite a week for Massachusetts’ Department of Children and Families.

Earlier in the week, I was going to write about, what was then the latest fiasco, You see, Grafton Police Chief Normand A. Crepeau Jr. was angry..

Chief Crepeau was angry because felt that DCF was trying to escape blame by shifting it over to his officers.

When we left off on what was supposed to be a three-part posting on the nightmare that is Massachusetts’ Department of Children and Families (“DCF”), I was intending to wrap it up with a bit of a summation. As you may have noticed, time has passed since the last posting. In the meantime, discoveries of what I have been trying to communicate about the department have continued to reveal themselves.

The message, frankly, is that DCF has various and serious systemic problems…problems which tear families apart and endanger children every day. While the department may wish to hide behind the shroud of the “one bad apple” explanation, it is clear to any thinking person that is the department itself which is, at the very least, rotting said apples.’

As we have discussed, spokes-folk for the department, at the public discovery of the recent Oliver debacle reacted with the age-old explanation that there was nothing wrong with DCF itself, only with the individuals who had been attached to the particular case.

We began this discussion about the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) focussing on its abysmal handling of the Oliver family. This is the matter in which 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver, under DCF’s watch, vanished long before DCF even had a spark of recognition that something was wrong despite the fact it was allegedly watching.

We will return to how DCF seems to have responded under the resulting scrutiny next blog. Today, however, let’s look at the other side of the coin

Most of my DCF cases have involved the initial stages of DCF involvement into clients’ lives. At this point, the situation is much different than what had happened in the Oliver matter. Similar to that tragedy, it is best to discard whatever you call “reasonable” even at the onset.

Ok, I have to admit up front. I do not watch this program or read this chat… Whichever it is. I do not know whether these names are real or not. I don’t know if they were chosen or merely unfortunate occurrences for the name holders. I do, however, know that they are part of the criminal justice media circus about which we were in the middle of discussing.

It was apparently something called a “Throwdown news chat” in which people were discussing the issues of the day. These issues, naturally, included domestic violence and Middlesex District Attorney Marion T Ryan. Specifically, the debate was about the murder of Jennifer Martel and the fact that the man accused of doing it, Jared Remi, was free and able to do it.

“Yes, she should resign,” someone named “Fanns” said during yesterday’s Throwdown news chat. “With his violent record she should have held a dangerousness hearing and asked for bail, if she did, that poor woman may still be alive.”

This long time Boston criminal lawyer must warn you… Don’t believe everything you read.

As I had forewarned you over my past few blogs, the criminal justice trenches are about to become much harder to navigate if you are accused of Massachusetts domestic violence. I have one of you that, over my approximately quarter century in the criminal justice system, I have seen the number one focus on the part of prosecutors becoming, not justice, but to cover the behind of one’s political future. The district attorney of the particular county, is, at base, a politician. No more. No less. The major fear of politicians is bad press. We live in the day and age where that things do not just “happen”. It has to be somebody’s fault.

And so it is, just as you have been warned, local prosecutors are going to try to “fix” the problem that they say led to the tragic killing of Jennifer Martel. As you will recall, Jared Remy (hereinafter the “Defendant”) has been accused of her murder. From the outside at least, it appears to be a pretty strong case against him. However, not that anybody really cares, but he is still supposed to be presumed innocent. However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume him guilty. Previous to this murder, he had a history of violent charges against him. These included domestic violence type charges from Ms. Martel herself. In fact, a day previous, he had been brought to court for assault and battery upon her.

We both began and ended the week last week discussing the realities of being accused of criminal charges arising out of a Massachusetts domestic violence case. We concentrated on what you could expect as you await going to court.

On Friday, I alluded to the recent Waltham Domestic Violence / Murder case of Jared Remy (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) and his long-time girlfriend, Jennifer Martel (hereinafter, the “Deceased”). The Defendant’s case is yet another in a relatively short period of time instance of a prosecutor’s nightmare when it comes to domestic violence.

Apparently, there had been a long history of domestic violence allegations brought against the Defendant. According to FOX25, there were 15 other criminal complaints between 1998 and 2013. Nevertheless, the last time the Defendant was arrested for such actions, he was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. Specifically, the Deceased alleged that he had slammed her head into a bathroom mirror, during an argument. The Defendant was released on personal recognizance last Wednesday.

The week has not been particularly good in terms of Massachusetts domestic violence cases. It seems a good idea to spend this Attorney Sam’s Take going through some nuts and bolts of what to expect if you are being accused of domestic violence.

First of all, understand that domestic violence cases are really cases about other crimes. It is domestic violence simply because of the setting in which the violence takes place. The actual charge could involve assault, battery, threats, destruction of property, etc. The fact that there is a domestic relationship between the parties is what gives the accusation the added title of “domestic violence”.

Second, domestic violence cases are one of the most sensitive types of cases. Particularly to police officers, prosecutors and judges. As discussed in my blog on Monday, there is a fear that the alleged violence will continue and the complainant will wind up dead. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of “if you had only taken the claim seriously, she wouldn’t be dead now!”

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