This week, following a complaint from a Methuen, Massachusetts woman, Kenneth Poirier was arraigned in the Lawrence District Court on charges of Aggravated Rape and Kidnapping. He was previously charged with Indecent Assault and Battery, Assault and Battery and Kidnapping following another incident alleged to have occurred in October of this year. According to the complaining witness, on October 10, 2010 Poirier pulled her into his car and sexually attacked her at a remote location. As to the other case, it is alleged that on May 23, 2010 Poirier approached a woman pretending to need driving directions. When the woman approached to help out Poirier brandished a gun and demanded that the woman get in his car. He then drove off. He beat and raped her for about three hours. The woman escaped and was able to get the attention of patrolling police officers. She gave a description of Poirier who was arrested three days later. The woman refused medical treatment. These cases will probably be indicted to the Essex County Superior Court in Salem, Massachusetts.
While both of these cases might be defensible individually the prosecution might try to join both matters for trial. This will create an incredible difficult hurdle for the defense to jump. Massachusetts appellate courts have upheld the joinder of separate criminal accusations when two or more offenses are related, meaning that they are based on the same criminal conduct, course of criminal conduct or series of criminal episodes. It is up to the trial judge whether or not to permit joinder. Prior to permitting joinder the judge must decide whether joining the cases would deny the defendant of a fair trial. I can see some judges joining these cases and others requiring the district attorney to prosecute them separately. Most Aggressive Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyers will fight to sever these cases. The potential prejudice joinder presents is significant.
The facts of criminal cases rarely mirror the initial news reports. These reports are often sensationalized or simply a restatement of a summary read in court by the prosecutor. We investigate our cases thoroughly and pursue multiple defense options for each case. Call us at 617-263-6800 to discuss your criminal case. You can also contact us online.