State Senator Jim Marzilli is pictured at left in court recently with his lawyer, Terrence Kennedy. Photo courtesy Gatehouse Media.
Story Updated 6:17PM, Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Marzilli Charged After DA Drops Case
- Allison Goldsberry, InsideMedford.com
- Bob Sprague, YourArlington.com
The trial of state senator James Marzilli (D-Arlington) has been set for next April, a time when he will no longer be a state senator, according to dates agreed to Monday in Lowell Superior Court.
Sen. Marzilli faces charges of accosting four women in Lowell on June 3, accusations that led to his declining to run for reelection this fall. On June 5, he admitted to McLean Hospital, where he has been treated for bipolar disorder.
Sen. Marzilli has been free on $1,500 cash bail since pleading not guilty at an arraignment in Lowell District Court on June 4. His lawyer, Terrence Kennedy, maintains his client is innocent and says he is suffering from a “fairly serious mental health condition.”
Sen. Marzilli is also facing new criminal charges for a sexual assault complaint against him from an Arlington woman in April. Although Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone dropped the case after an investigation by his office found “insufficient evidence” to support the complaint, a clerk magistrate charged the senator Wednesday after an affidavit was filed by the Arlington woman.
The clerk magistrate charged Sen. Marzilli with two counts of indecent assault and battery, according to the Boston Globe, after the Arlington woman and her lawyer, Wendy Murphy, issued a request for criminal charges.
Corey Welford, a spokesman for the Middlesex DA, said the clerk magistrate had only “a small fraction” of the information to consider as compared to what was uncovered in the DA’s five-week investigation. In addition, Welford said a clerk magistrate only has to determine probable cause when deciding whether to bring criminal charges against an individual, which Welford characterized as a “much lower standard” than the DA applies when determining whether to bring a case to trial.
Welford said he did not expect the two-page affidavit filed by the Arlington woman to uncover any new information though he did say the District Attorney would look into the affidavit and make a decision before Sen. Marzilli would have to be arraigned on the charges.
“We discovered factual and legal deficiencies that would preclude us from prosecuting further, and it is unlikely the affidavit will uncover new information,” said Welford.
Outside the Lowell courthouse on Monday, Sen. Marzilli, 50, and his wife, Susan Shaer, came to the aid of a 14-year-old boy who had been seriously injured after he had been struck by a minivan. The Lowell Sun reported that the unidentified teen was struck while riding his bicycle with a friend, who was on another bike, on Gorham near Elm Street in Lowell about 2:45 p.m.
The injured boy and his bike were thrown about 100 feet, the newspaper reported police said. The second bicyclist was not reported injured.
Arriving at the accident scene minutes after his hearing, Sen. Marzilli and Shaer got out of their white Toyota Prius and directed traffic around the injured youth, Wickedlocal reported.
Defense attorney Terrence Kennedy said he was pleased that Marzilli had done a good deed after his court appearance, the Web site reported.
Police summoned a medical helicopter to nearby South Common to transport the youth to Boston Medical Center’s trauma center for treatment of serious head injuries, The Sun said.
The boys were not wearing helmets, police said.
Sen. Marzilli is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 23 for a hearing on nonevidentiary motions to dismiss. The final pretrial conference is set to take place next March 26.
Sen. Marzilli represents the Fourth Middlesex State Senate district, which includes Arlington; Billerica; Burlington; Lexington precincts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7; and Woburn wards 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7. He served as a state representative for Arlington and Medford for seventeen years before his election to the state senate last December.
Jack Hurd and Ken Donnelly, both of Arlington, are seeking the Democratic nomination in Sept. 16 primary. Brian Cangiamila of Billerica, a Republican, is running a write-in campaign.