Posts tagged "Halstrom"

Commonwealth v. Halstrom (and seven companion cases) (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-125-13)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;       11‑P‑1276                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  MELISSA HALSTROM (and seven companion cases[1]).     No. 11‑P‑1276. Essex.     May 2, 2013.  ‑  October 11, 2013. Present:  Milkey, Carhart, & Sullivan, JJ.   Prostitution.  Deriving Support From Child Prostitution.  Intent.  Practice, Criminal, Argument by prosecutor, Instructions to jury, Opening statement, Severance.  Evidence, Argument by prosecutor, Credibility of witness, Intent, Joint venturer, Statement of codefendant.  Words, “Induce.”       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on October 31 and December 5, 2007.   The case was tried before Kathe M. Tuttman, J.     Nicole M. Procida for Melissa Halstrom. Jennifer Marie Petersen for Anthony Gorgoglione. Marcia H. Slingerland, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     SULLIVAN, J.  The defendants appeal from multiple convictions of inducing a minor to become a prostitute, G. L. c. 272, § 4A, and deriving support from a minor prostitute, G. L. c. 272, § 4B.  Both defendants argue that the jury instructions were erroneous with regard to the definition of “inducement,” that there was insufficient evidence as to inducement, and that the prosecutor’s closing argument was improper.  The defendant, Melissa Halstrom, contends that the instruction regarding deriving support from prostitution was erroneous.  The defendant, Anthony Gorgoglione, argues that his motion to sever should have been granted and that the prosecutor’s opening statement impermissibly referenced excluded evidence.  We affirm. Background.  We summarize the facts of the case, leaving additional facts for later discussion as needed.  The case involved three minors, Gail, Beth, and Maureen (collectively, girls), ages sixteen to seventeen, who the Commonwealth maintained were persuaded to participate in a prostitution business operated by Halstrom with the assistance of Gorgoglione.  Gail had known Halstrom since 2005, when Halstrom dated her father.  When Gail was “kicked out” of her house during her freshman year of high school in 2005, she stayed with Halstrom for about a month.  She remained close to Halstrom and visited her frequently.  In the summer of 2007, Gail again lived with her father.  Gail also socialized with Halstrom.  During this period, Gail lost her job at a coffee shop and was unable to find another position.  After her father received an eviction notice, Gail told Halstrom that she was worried about her family’s ability to pay the rent. Upon learning of the eviction notice, Halstrom told Gail about her work as an escort, which she […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm

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