According to an article in the MetroWest Daily News, the senior foreman for the Wayland Department of Public Works was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn on Friday on various sex offenses, specifically: four counts of rape of a child by force, and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen. The article states that the man has been a foreman for Wayland’s DPW for over two decades and was promoted to senior foreman in 2011. According to the information in the article, the man reportedly raped the alleged victim on multiple occasions and at several locations. The alleged victim told police the abuse started when she was five years old, in 1998, and reportedly stopped in 2006.
For the Commonwealth to obtain a conviction against the man for rape of a child by force under G. L. 265, § 22A, it would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant engaged in sexual intercourse with the alleged victim; (2) that the sexual intercourse was accomplished by compelling the alleged victim to submit by force or by threat of bodily injury and against her will; and (3) that the alleged victim was a child under sixteen years of age at the time of the alleged offense.
For the Commonwealth to obtain a conviction against the man for indecent assault and battery on a child under fourteen under G. L. c. 265, § 13B, it would have to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the alleged victim was under fourteen at the time of the alleged offense(s); (2) that the defendant committed an assault and battery on that child – an assault and battery is the intentional touching of another person without legal justification or excuse; and (3) that the assault and battery was “indecent,” as that word is commonly understood, measured by common understanding and practices. An indecent act is one that is fundamentally offensive to contemporary standards of decency. An assault and battery may be “indecent” if it involves touching portions of the anatomy commonly thought of as private, such as a person’s genital area or buttocks, or the breasts of a female.
Although the article is not particularly descriptive in terms of the actual allegations, based on the information that is included, the defendant does appear to have a potential defense that he could argue. First and foremost, it appears that the alleged assaults ended nearly a decade ago, therefore, it seems unlikely that there is any physical evidence to support the alleged victim’s claim, such as DNA. It also appears that the alleged victim does not have any lasting physical injuries from the alleged assaults, such as scarring or any other mark that might support her claim that these alleged assaults actually happened. Therefore, the case may well come down to a he said-she said issue and the defendant may argue that these allegations are fabricated. Additionally, although delayed disclosure is not unheard of, some sort of explanation for the delay is generally something that jurors want to hear about. Given the fact that the article makes no mention of such an explanation, the defendant may be able to use the delay in the alleged victim’s report as further fuel for his argument that the allegations are simply made up. Lastly, the fact that the alleged assaults happened so far in the past will make it extremely difficult for any other witnesses to specify the instances in which the alleged victim may have been left alone with the defendant, which may result in additional issues with the Commonwealth’s case. Overall, the lack of corroboration that the Commonwealth can present to support the allegations may play a significant role in the defendant’s defense.
Despite these potential arguments, the defendant is still facing extremely serious charges that carry significant potential penalties and collateral consequences. No matter what defense he chooses to present, he will need an experienced lawyer to assist him in investigating the case, consulting with experts, and persuasively presenting the case to the court and the jury. If you or a loved one is facing similarly serious charges, you will likewise need a skilled attorney to help you. Attorney Daniel Cappetta has been practicing criminal law for many years and always makes sure that his clients get best outcome possible. Contact him for a free consultation today.