Around 10:00 p.m. Saturday night Lynn, Massachusetts police responded to a 911 call from a woman who reported having been beaten by her boyfriend with a broom stick. When the police arrived they found the fifty year old woman bleeding from the head. The woman told police that the boyfriend, Joseph McLaughlin accused her of taking money from the bar where he works and proceeded to hit her ten times with an aluminum broom stick. The woman declined medical attention. McLaughlin was located shortly thereafter and arrested. He has been charged with Domestic Assault and Battery and Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon. Bail has been set at two thousand five hundred dollars cash. The case is being prosecuted in the Lynn District Court.
From a prosecution perspective the strength of these cases depends on several factors. 1) Will the victim be cooperative throughout the course of the prosecution? Often times these relationships get resolved to the point where the victim refuses to cooperate thereby making the district attorney’s job more difficult. 2) Is there any independent evidence that the prosecution can use if the victim becomes uncooperative such as an eyewitness or a contemporaneous 911 call from the victim? 3) What did the responding police officers observe? Bruising, bleeding or other signs that the victim has suffered an attack can be used by the prosecutor to corroborate the allegations of Domestic Assault.