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Commonwealth v. Baptista (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-083-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   12-P-1407                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOHN BAPTISTA. No. 12-P-1407. Bristol.     February 7, 2014. – July 16, 2014. Present:  Sikora, Hines, & Maldonado, JJ.     Practice, Criminal, Sentence.  Evidence, Prior misconduct.  Rape.  Indecent Assault and Battery.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on February 14, 2007.   The cases were tried before Richard T. Moses, J., and a proceeding to revise sentence was had by him.     Alan D. Campbell for the defendant. Yul-mi Cho, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     SIKORA, J.  In March of 2012, a Superior Court jury convicted the defendant, John Baptista, of rape of a child by force and indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen years.  See G. L. c. 265, § 22A; G. L. c. 265, § 13B.  Two weeks after sentencing, the trial judge, pursuant to Mass.R.Crim.P. 29(a), 378 Mass. 899 (1979), sua sponte convened a hearing and thereafter increased the defendant’s sentence for the conviction of rape of a child by force.  The defendant appeals from his convictions and from the imposition of the increased sentence.  For the following reasons, we affirm. Background.  1.  Facts.  The jury heard the following evidence.  In New Bedford, from approximately 1994 and into 1997, the victim, Michael,[1] lived with his mother, two older sisters, and the defendant.  The defendant cared for Michael when his mother was at work.  Michael, who was twenty-two years old at the time of trial, testified that on multiple occasions the defendant entered his bedroom, touched his penis and buttocks, and manually penetrated his rectum.  He recounted that the defendant had threatened to “chop [him] into little pieces” if he disclosed the abuse.[2] 2.  Sentencing.  At the time of sentencing, the defendant was serving a term of fifteen to twenty-five years in State prison for a conviction in 1999 of rape by force of one of Michael’s sisters.  On March 15, 2012, at the conclusion of a subsequent offender bench trial, the judge sentenced the defendant to seven to ten years in State prison on the conviction of rape of a child by force, subsequent offense; and five to seven years on the conviction of indecent assault and battery on a person under the age of fourteen years, subsequent offense.  The judge imposed those sentences to be served concurrently with each other and […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 17, 2014 at 4:43 am

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