Articles Posted in Harassment

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According to reports David Barry of Bridgewater, Massachusetts continually made telephone calls to a neighbor and the neighbor’s wife over a nine month period. The offenses started in October of last year and ended this past June. The victim complained that Barry would call late at night, saying his wife’s names and the word “die”. Barry is reportedly involved in youth sports in the town of Bridgewater. Charges of Criminal Harassment and Making Annoying Phone Calls were filed against Barry in the Brockton District Court.

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Bridgewater, Massachusetts Man Charged With Making Annoying Phone Calls, Harassment In Brockton

Criminal Harassment in Massachusetts is a crime pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 43A. The law states that anyone who “engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person, which seriously alarms that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, shall be guilty of the crime of criminal harassment and shall be punished”. A first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to two and one half years in the house of correction. A second offense is a felony that carries a potential ten year state prison sentence. Making Annoying Phone Calls is also a misdemeanor but with much lighter consequences. A conviction for this crime, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 269 Section 14A carries a maximum three month jail sentence. More likely than not, assuming Barry has an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer, he will walk away from these charges without a criminal record.

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According to police Rayfield McCants, 28 of Cambridge, Massachusetts got onto an MBTA bus Tuesday night and intentionally rubbed himself against a woman passenger.  Afterwards, when the woman exited the bus McCants followed her and harassed her until a bus driver came to her aid.  McCants now stands charged with indecent assault and battery.  Apparently when McCants got on the bus he sat directly next to the woman even though the bus was virtually empty.  The bus driver witnessed the events on and off the bus and assisted the woman until the suspect was arrested by the police.  Bail in the amount of $5,000 cash was set. 

Read Full Article http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO103666/

The Massachusetts statute prohibiting indecent assault and battery is Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 13H.  The law states that anyone who is convicted of this crime can be punished for up to 5 years in state prison.  If the case is kept in the district court there is a maximum 2 1/2 year house of correction sentence that can be imposed.  Massachusetts courts define indecent assault as acts fundamentally offensive to today’s moral values.  Touching the buttocks or private areas of another certainly suffice to convict for this crime. 

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On New Years’ Eve a Framingham woman contacted the police to report that her former boyfriend, Josue Gonzalez telephonically threatened her and her and her three children.  Specifically, he told her that if she did not give him money he would burn her house down.  A restraining order was in existence at that time.  A police officer told Gonzalez to stop calling. Gonzalez ignored the request and the victim again sought out police assistance.  Police again tried to intercede to no avail.  Four days later Gonzalez called the police to report that the victim was neglecting her children and asked that the children be taken away and placed into state custody.  Gonzalez added that one of the children was being raped.  Officers investigated the complaint and found no evidence of neglect and made Gonzalez aware of their findings.  Gonzalez then threatened to blow up the Framingham Police station.  Police then obtained a warrant for Gonzalez’s arrest.  He was located and apprehended last week. 

Gonzalez was charged with stalking, threatening to commit a crime, making annoying phone calls, violating a restraining order and making a false police report.  All charges are pending in the Framingham District Court.  Gonzalez is being held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing. 

Let’s take a look at some of the more serious charges; violating a restraining order and stalking.

1.  Violating a restraining order.  This is a crime in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 209 Section 7.  The law specifically states that”[a]ny violation of such order or a protection order issued by another jurisdiction shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years in a house of correction, or by both such fine and imprisonment.” 

2.  Stalking.  This is proscribed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 43.  The Massachusetts stalking law states that anyone who willfully and maliciously engages in a pattern or series of acts directed towards someone which seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and threatens that person with the intention of placing them in immediate fear of bodily injury or death is guilty of stalking.  There is a possible 5 year prison sentence.  If the case is handled in a Massachusetts district court the maximum sentence is 2 1/2 years in jail.  If this crimes is committed in violation of a restraining order there is a mandatory minimum 1 year jail sentence you must serve if convicted. 

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The Lawrence Eagle Tribune reported on Saturday that an Andover couple was arrested during their morning jog yesterday on charges of criminal harassment, conspiracy, identity fraud, and filing a frivolous report of child abuse.  It is alleged that the defendants, William and Gail Johnson, made fabricated reports to the state Department of Social Services and phony online advertisements containing personal information used to target James Lyons Jr., a resident of 12 High Vale Lane and a neighbor of the Johnsons.  The prosecution contends that the motive for the crimes was an existing land dispute between the defendants and Lyons, their neighbor.  Nominal bails were set in this case.  $2,000 for William Johnson and $1,000 for Gail Johnson.  A third defendant, Gerald Colton of Lowell was arraigned in June on related charges.  The charges stem from the following facts.  In March of 2008 Lyons contacted Andover police after postings on the Web site Craigslist.org listed his name, address and phone numbers. The initial posting, an advertisement for the sale of nine used golf carts, attracted potential buyers to Lyons’ home. After the posting was taken off the Web site, it appeared again the next day, along with a new post advertising the sale of a 1973 Harley-Davidson motorcycle for $300.  The posting claimed the motorcycle belonged to Lyons’ “late son,” a statement Lyons believed was a threat directed at one of his two sons, ages 13 and 14.  Emails referencing the golf cart and motorcycle sales were were linked to Colton’s computer which was seized after his arrest.  Also on his computer was personal information pertaining to Lyons and his family.  In March, Lyons reported to police that someone had attempted to open up bank accounts using his personal information. He also reported that someone had signed him up as a member of the Florida-based American Association for Nude Recreation.  Also in March 2008, social service workers appeared at Lyons home to speak with his 14 year old son regarding fabricated criminal sexual assault allegations.  Additional fabricated allegations directed to Lyons were also reported to the Department of Social Services.  The harassment continued into April of 2008.  Then, Lyons received a letter from BioGift Anatomical Inc. stating that he had already expressed his interest in “donating his body for medical science when he passes away,” a statement Lyons considered a “direct threat on his life”.  Also in April, false allegations regarding Lyons’ businesses prompted a visit from the board of health.  Again in April 2008 Lyons was sent a letter implicating him in a past case of molestation by a fictionalized former employee.  Read entire article, Lawrence Eagle Tribune, October 18, 2008

Harassment in Massachusetts is a criminal act in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 43A.  The statute states in part that “[w]hoever willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person, which seriously alarms that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, shall be guilty of the crime of criminal harassment and shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Such conduct or acts described in this paragraph shall include, but not be limited to, conduct or acts conducted by mail or by use of a telephonic or telecommunication device including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications or facsimile communications.”  The harassment statute tracks the stalking statute, except that the stalking statute contains the additional element of making a threat to induce fear of death or bodily injury.  Here, the prosecution contends that reference to one of the victim’s “late” sons’ was a threat to one of the sons where both were in fact alive.  The threat to Lyons himself stemmed from the letter concerning him donating his body to science. 

Our office has handled stalking and harassment cases successfully for years.  Typically these cases are prosecuted in the district courts in Massachusetts.  In cases where someone who has already been convicted of this crime is found guilty again a state prison sentence is permitted.  Making sure you have an experienced Massachusetts harassment defense lawyer is important.  Call our office to discuss your case now

Related Web Resources:

Massachusetts Criminal Harassment Defense Lawyers

Massachusetts Stalking Defense Lawyers