32-year-old Joshua Garsteck, a voice coach from Haverhill, and hereinafter the “Defendant”, is now facing Massachusetts rape charges. How he got behind bars is an interesting story.
Prosecutors say an investigation began in May after police were notified by the state Department of Children and Families that the girl was several months pregnant. DCF suspected the Defendant.
When police spoke with the girl, she denied having a relationship with the Defendant and instead pointed to someone she said she had met online who was her own age.
According to the Commonwealth, the girl had offered to tell her mother who the real father was but only if she promised not to get “him” in trouble. The girl explained to her mother that she and the Defendant were in love and were going to be together. In fact, police say that during the investigation, the girl’s mother did keep information from them.
In September, when investigators confronted the woman at her home in Amesbury regarding contradictory statements she had made to police, the woman became defensive and said that even though her daughter had sex with the Defendant, it didn’t mean he was the father because the her daughter had sex with others, too, according to the police report.
Meanwhile, when the Defendant became aware of the investigation, he rushed right down to the police station to try to clear his name. Police say that he denied having a romantic relationship with the girl — she wasn’t his type, he told them, and he kept his professional and personal lives separate. He also told police he had a relationship with the victim’s family, which included sharing family holidays, taking trips to the beach and seeing movies with the girl’s mother. The Defendant also apparently denied having had any cell phone conversations with the girl or her mother. The cell phone records purportedly disputed that.
“There are thousands of text messages between this defendant and this child,” authorities say. “There are text messages between the Defendant and the child’s mother, and there are text messages between this defendant and what appears to be another juvenile, who is in the process of being identified.”
Police charged the Defendant with aggravated rape of a child. Additional charges of impeding a police investigation are pending. At present, he faces at least 10 years in state prison if convicted as charged.
The Defendant’s lawyer sought a one thousand dollar bail at arraignment, pointing out that his client had no criminal record and was not a flight risk. Arguing the allegations in the case, the Commonwealth requested in bail in the amount of $100,000.
The Court held the Defendant on $50,000 cash bail. Should the Defendant post bail, he will be under house arrest and must stay away from the victim and off the Internet.
In the end, the girl told investigators that she and her mother did not want to talk to police about the Defendant because they wanted her child to have a father and someone to provide child support.
Apparently, the Commonwealth did not find that reasoning persuasive.
Attorney Sam’s Take on Massachusetts Sex Crimes…With And Without “Consent”
Any regular reader of this Boston criminal lawyer’s blog knows that Massachusetts law states that a juvenile, which the girl is, cannot lawfully consent to having sex. With anybody. Love or no love.
Some might say, however, that, in factual, if not legal, terms, the girl did consent and still consents. Of course, this may no longer be so clear given the fact that she has “come clean” and may now know that the Defendant allegedly had other similar relationships. Assuming the girl is on “his side”, though, you might wonder what is likely to happen next.
Well, there are many issues here which you might think are likely to go the Defendant’s way.
First, the girl first blamed someone else. That cannot hurt. Further, both the mother and the girl do not seem to have wanted him to be arrested. Maybe they still won’t. All the more help.
The Commonwealth, though, have some pretty tough answers for that. First of all, the fact that both the girl and her mother lied to the police makes them susceptible for criminal charges. Further, DCF is involved in this matter. Should the mother not want to cooperate with the Commonwealth, she could be facing criminal charges as well as DCF’s decree that the girl must be removed from her custody.
Finally, of course, we have the Defendant’s easily-contradicted statements to the police as well as something that is sure to come…the DNA test. It sounds like the results of the test are not likely to be a friend to the defense.
Apparently, the Defendant knew about the investigation before he was arrested. He should have engaged the services of experienced counsel before trotting over to the police department to bury himself alittle bit more.
But then…you have heard me give that lecture many times by now.
To read the original stories upon which this blog is based, please go to http://m.eagletribune.com/eagletrib/pm_102537/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=At7EVRjU and http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/10/10/haverhill-voice-coach-charged-with-raping-teen/acLXG1oKWksVHv4Um7t1oL/story.html