We have discussed it many times before, but the message still is not really out. Take it to heart –tell your friends-put up flyers- there is absolutely a different standard between you and police officers when it comes to telling the truth! They can lie all they want…that is regarded as
“good police work”
Enter former gym owner Stephen DiTullio (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). This Littleton gentleman was summonsed to a Middlesex County Grand Jury during an ongoing Middlesex County criminal investigation.
The investigation was into allegations of Massachusetts rapes of underage gymnasts by their coach, Steven Infante (hereinafter, the “Sex Offender”). The Sex Offender was found guilty in his own trial on the sex crimes last May.
Well, it was the Defendant’s turn recently. He was convicted not of simple Massachusetts witness intimidation, but of his alleged perjury in the Grand Jury. .
Prosecutors say that the Defendant, who was also a coach himself, lied when he testified under oath that he knew nothing about alcohol being consumed by underage counselors at a summer camp he operated during the 1990s, when the rapes are said to have taken place. He also testified under oath that he never saw alcohol being consumed by counselors during that time.
Unfortunately, other grand jury witnesses testified that both gentlemen provided alcohol to underage camp counselors, DA Leone said in a statement.
Yesterday, the Defendant was sentenced to two years in the Middlesex House of Correction, with one year to be served. He was also ordered to perform 300 hours of community service and forbidden to have direct contact with children under the age of 18, according to prosecutors..
Attorney Sam’s Take On Perjury And Lying To Investigators
This story brings up a number of issues that still seem to confuse people…especially people who do not read this daily blog each day.
As mentioned above, it is a Massachusetts felony to lie to law enforcement when they come a-calling. It was somehow squeezed into the crime of Intimidation Of A Witness. I know, I know…it really has nothing to do with intimidating anyone. I get it. However, this is one of those many instances in which criminal justice logic differs from every day logic.
Lying to the officers is just what it sounds like. Lying about facts involved in their ongoing investigation over the telephone, email, in person or however the communication takes place.
Perjury, however, is similar, but not the same thing. In order to commit perjury, you have to be under oath when lying to law enforcement…or anyone else. As you may recall, former president Bill Clinton was attacked for lying under oath and since the crime committed was perjury, there was a cry from political opponents for impeachment.
“But, Sam, he was being asked about cheating on his wife in front of his wife and everyone else who cared to watch the video. Who wouldn’t lie?”
True enough. The same question comes up in this case. Why would the Defendant admit to serving alcohol to minors? Well, there are right ways and wrong ways to get out of such a situation.
One of the wrong ways is to lie while on the stand.
What Can you do to get out of such a rough spot?
Tomorrow we will address that question as well as other questions that this case presents.
In the meantime, if you are facing criminal charges and would like to consult me, please free to call me at 617-492-3000 to arrange a free initial consultation..
To view the article upon which this blog is based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2011/05/ex-gymnastics_c.html