High School Football Player Pleads Not Guilty to Massachusetts Assault and Battery Charge for Head-Butting Opponent

James LaShoto, a 17-year-old football player for Arlington High School, has pleaded not guilty to a Massachusetts assault and battery charge for head-butting Daniel Curtin, an Abington High School player during a September 19 game. He entered his plea last week in Cambridge District Court before being released on personal recognizance.

Police say that the alleged incident occurred after Curtin’s helmet was knocked off. He was unable to play for 10 days following the head-butt, which was captured on video. Curtin says that LaShoto of pulling off the helmet before head-butting him.

Arlington Catholic suspended LaShoto for two days. The 17-year-old and his family have apologized for the incident and they acknowledge that his behavior was wrong. However, LaShoto’s defense attorney maintains that head-butting someone during a football game is not a crime and the matter should therefore not be pursued in criminal court.

LaShoto is scheduled to reappear in court next month.

Assault and Battery
For a jury to convict a defendant of Massachusetts assault and battery, the prosecution must either prove that the defendant committed reckless assault and battery or intentional assault and battery beyond a reasonable doubt. Intentional assault and battery involves an unjustified and offensive/harmful act of physical contact that caused injury to a victim. Reckless assault and battery involves reckless conduct by the accused that caused physical injury to the victim.

Maximum penalty upon conviction for Massachusetts assault and battery is 2.5 years.

Arlington Catholic High School football game headbutt gets assault charge, Boston Herald, November 28, 2009
High School Football Player Charged For Head Butt, WBZ, October 30, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Chapter 265 Crimes Against the Person, The General Laws of Massachusetts
To obtain the best outcome for your criminal case, you should speak with an experienced Cambridge, Massachusetts assault and battery lawyer.

Contact Information