According to The Lawrence Eagle Tribune, a twenty-eight year old Lawrence man is accused of repeatedly whipping his step daughter on her back with a belt. As a result of the beating, the young girl developed welts on her back that were observed by a teacher and the school nurse. According to the paper, the child reported to the police that the beating occurred because she told her stepfather that she took $100.00 from her mother’s wallet to buy a present for her teacher. The defendant was arrested and charged with assault and battery on a family member, assault and battery on a child under 14 causing bodily injury and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The defendant was arraigned in the Lawrence District Court and $1000.00 bail was set. Upon his release he is not to have contact with his stepdaugher.
The girl reported that she heard her mother tell her step father that he could have punished her in a different way. According to the paper, the girl stated that her mother treated her injuries with lotion. However, the mother told the authorities that she did not observe the injuries.
A defendant charged with assault and battery faces up to two years in prison if he or she is convicted. The potential penalty increases for a defendant charged with assault and battery on a person causing serious bodily injury. If convicted for that charge, a person faces up to five years in state prison or two and one half years in the house of correction. In Massachusetts an assault and battery is the intentional and unjustified use of force on someone else or the intentional doing of a wanton or grossly negligent act causing personal injury to another. In order to establish “serious bodily injury” the Commonwealth does not have to prove that the injury was permanent. The Massachusetts courts have held that proving that a blow struck to the victim which resulted in a broken jaw satisfies the “serious bodily injury” element of the crime.
Defending these types of crimes often involve asserting a claim of self-defense, defense of another or establishing that a defendant did not have the necessary intent at the time of the incident to commit the crime. It is imperative for a defendant in the Boston, Lawrence, Newburyport area to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to successfully defend against this type of case.