An Essex County Superior Court Judge sitting in Lawrence sentenced a 47 year old man to life in prison for raping and sexually abusing his daughter. According to reports in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune, the victim moved to this country from the Dominican Republic when she was 11 years old to live with her mother and the defendant, her stepfather. Within a month sexual abuse started. It lasted for 2 years. The victim then returned to the Dominican Republic where she remained for a few years. When she turned 16 she moved back to Essex County the abuse resumed and within a few months the defendant was arrested.
The case was tried before a jury in the Essex County Superior Court in Lawrence. The defendant was convicted of rape, indecent assault and battery, incest and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. The judge who presided over the trial called the defendant’s conduct “appalling” and “close to torture”. He then sentenced the defendant to life in prison on the rape charge. A 9-10 year sentence was imposed on 3 counts of indecent assault and battery on a person under the age of 14. A 9-10 year sentence was imposed for the conviction of one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. These sentences were to run concurrently with the life sentence. On the 3 incest counts the judge sentenced the defendant to 15-20 years in prison to run from and after the life sentence. Concurrent with this sentence were 4-5 year prison sentences for indecent assault and battery on a person over 14.
Assuming the convictions survive an almost inevitable appeal the defendant will be eligible for parole in 30 years.
Of particular interest in this case is the incest charge. The Massachusetts incest statute, G.L. c. 272 sec. 17 states that anyone “within degrees of consanguinity within which marriages are prohibited” who engage in sexual intercourse shall be punished by up to 20 years in state prison. A Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court case, Commonwealth v. Rahim, 441 Mass. 273 (2004) made clear that sexual intercourse between a step-father and step-daughter is not incest. Here, there exists a strong possibility that the incest convictions will be overturned. If that is the case, the defendant will be parole eligible in 19 years as opposed to 30 years.
Our office has substantial experience defending sex crimes cases. We have defended rape cases, indecent assault and battery cases, and incest cases throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If you have been charged with one of these crimes or even if you have been convicted of one of these crimes we encourage you to contact our office at once. We are experienced Lawrence Massachusetts Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers.