On May 20, 2011 I blogged on a similar case involving the same defendant. Norman Barnes, age twenty eight. He was arrested at a hotel in Quincy, Massachusetts after the victim used Facebook to contact a relative who immediately went to the hotel. Police were called to the scene and Barnes was apprehended. The Salem News now reports that Barnes crimes spanned several counties. The allegations are extremely severe. It is alleged that Barnes kidnapped the fifteen year old girl on May 8, 2011 after giving her friend a ride and dropping her off at a local T station. Barnes convinced the victim to remain with him with the promise of taking her home. He did not. Rather, he took her from hotel to hotel throughout various counties in Massachusetts forcing her to engage in acts of prostitution and raping her several times. It is alleged that the girl was forced to have sex with as many as eight men one of the days she was at a motel in Danvers and seven men on another occasion, also in Essex County. The case against Barnes now pending in the Salem District Court charges him with Enticing a Minor Into Prostitution, Deriving Support From Prostitution of a Minor and Statutory Rape. Bail was set in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars cash, by agreement. When Barnes was arrested he had nearly twenty thousand dollars in his possession.
In cases like this one, where a defendant is charged in several counties for the same conduct and a single victim, the issue of consolidation is often considered. Massachusetts Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2) permits a defendant to file a motion for the transfer and consolidation of cases. The judge hearing the motion is to consider the convenience of the request relative to the witnesses and parties. The prosecutor for each county must agree to the request if it is to be permitted. This rule is designed for the purpose of judicial economy by eliminating the need for multiple trials committed in different counties. From the perspective of a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer this rule has a different value. If Barnes were to have separate trials in each county, and if he were to lose each trial, the circumstances of these cases might prompt a judge to consider a consecutive state prison sentence. This might be due to the fact that one judge might not believe that the first judge’s sentence was severe enough. Or, it might be because the victim was forced to relive the horrors of her ordeal through her trial testimony on multiple occasions. Consolidation will result in one trial and one sentence. Consolidation for trial purposes is rare. The practice is much more common when someone is offering to plead guilty to criminal charges pending in multiple superior courts.
Trial strategy, plea negotiations, venue issues and the consolidation of criminal cases are just some of the matters the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman takes into consideration when evaluating a case. The lawyers in our office have years of experience defending the accused. Call us at 617-263-6800 or contact us online if you have any criminal issues to discuss. Your defense should start right away. Do not wait. Call a Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer now.