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Man charged with sexual assault is brother of Somerville mayor

In most communities, whether in Barnstable, Massachusetts or elsewhere, an attempt to violate another person sexually is seen as a shocking offense. This perception has as much to do with a personal sense of propriety and decency as with being outraged at the vulgarity of the incident. In the eyes of the law, such nonconsensual acts are crimes whose punishment can involve a significant prison sentence. Victims of sexual assault can also find sanctuary under the law, with assistance available in many forms, such as a Special Victims Unit, to help them overcome the emotional trauma of the abuse they have suffered.Recently, in Everett, Massachusetts, police arrested and charged the brother of the mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts with assault to rape and assault and battery for allegedly trying to forcibly have sex with, and causing bodily injury to a local woman. Despite the issuance of many previous restraining orders against him at her request, the accused still tried to sexually abuse the victim, and claimed that his connections with a top politician made him immune to the law. The accused is currently in a House of Corrections in Billerica, with no bond set, and is facing a court appointment for a dangerousness hearing.Persons convicted for sexual offences can face up to 20 years of prison in Massachusetts. The punishment can be more severe depending on the nature of the crime and if the crime has been repeated. However, emotionally scarred victims can scarcely be assuaged by such penalties and any compensation that may be available to them. Apart from reparation, for which they can also seek legal guidance, they need to be assured that the assaulter will not come after them again in the future. Support services offered by state agencies may not be able to provide such guarantees over the long term. Source: boston.com, “Somerville Mayor’s Brother Charged with Assault to Rape, Larceny“, Chris Caesar, April 14, 2014

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