Posts tagged "Elliott"

Commonwealth v. Elliott (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-063-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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   11-P-1277                                       Appeals Court   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOSEPH ELLIOTT. No. 11-P-1277. Essex.     January 7, 2015. – June 17, 2015.   Present:  Kafker, Meade, & Maldonado, JJ.     Rape.  Indecent Assault and Battery.  Practice, Criminal, Trial of indictments together, Severance, Argument by prosecutor, Defendant’s decision not to testify, Instructions to jury, Presumptions and burden of proof, New trial, Interpreter.       Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on April 30, 2008.   The cases were tried before Maureen B. Hogan, J., and a motion for a new trial was heard by her.     James Vander Salm for the defendant. David F. O’Sullivan, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     KAFKER, J.  The defendant, Joseph Elliott, was indicted on seven charges of rape and indecent assault and battery that occurred within a one week time span against identical twin sisters, Karen and Mary.[1],[2]  After a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault and battery against Karen and acquitted of the remaining counts. The defendant appeals from the judgments and from the trial judge’s order denying his motion for new trial pursuant to Mass.R.Crim.P. 30(b), as appearing in 435 Mass. 1501 (2001).  In his direct appeal, the defendant contends that the trial judge abused her discretion in denying his motion for severance, and that the prosecutor’s closing argument violated his constitutional rights to due process and to remain silent.  The defendant also claims that the judge abused her discretion in denying his motion for a new trial.  The issue presented in that motion was his claimed hearing impairment and whether the judge provided adequate accommodations to address the defendant’s hearing difficulties.  We affirm. 1.  Background.  The relevant evidence in this case comes primarily from the testimony of Karen and Mary.  The sisters testified that the defendant, a longtime family friend, committed a series of sexual assaults against them in a span of eight days in 2007, when the sisters were nineteen years old.  We briefly summarize their testimony, and reserve certain facts for our discussion of the issues raised. The defendant first met Karen and Mary at church when the sisters were children.  Over the years, the defendant became a longtime friend of the family, and grew particularly close to the sisters’ mother.  The defendant often visited the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 17, 2015 at 9:52 pm

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