Saturday, 2:15 PM
Marzilli charged after D.A. decides not to pursue case
By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff
A clerk magistrate charged embattled state Senator J. James Marzilli Jr. today with two counts of indecent assault and battery, two-and-a-half months after Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. decided there was not enough evidence to pursue the case.
J. James Marzilli Jr.
The decision by Clerk Magistrate Robert Moscow of Cambridge District Court renews questions about why Leone declined to file charges on May 13, and forces Leone to decide whether he will prosecute the case now. Leone did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Moscow issued the charges after the alleged victim in the case took the unusual step of initiating a citizen’s request for criminal charges. Moscow granted the request after the woman, an Arlington resident who says she was groped by Marzilli after an arts event in April, testified under oath that her allegations are true, according to Wendy Murphy, her lawyer. Neither Marzilli nor his lawyer, Terrence W. Kennedy, appeared in court to contest the decision, Murphy said.
Murphy said her client was pleased that the Arlington Democrat was charged.
"This was part of her vindication," Murphy said today. "She wanted it to be known that what she said was true, and that she really did have a valid case."
Murphy added, "she deserves a lot of credit. This is a step in the right direction in terms of giving her the respect she deserved from the beginning."
Kennedy said today that he expected Moscow to issue criminal charges and expects Leone will not prosecute the case. Kennedy said he and Marzilli decided they were not going to court today for “a legal charade.”
“We weren’t going to participate in it; it’s going to get dismissed,” Kennedy said. “The DA has said publicly and over and over again that he was going to do that… this case is going nowhere…it’s the least of my concerns.”
Murphy said she hopes Leone will prosecute the case. She noted, however, that prosecutors make such decisions if they believe there is evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt” to win the case at trial -- a higher bar than "the probable cause" standard that Moscow used.
“I trust his judgment,” Murphy said, “and I hope he has the character to make the right decision.”
Marzilli is also facing a host of charges from a string of alleged assaults in Lowell on June 3, when he allegedly made inappropriate sexual comments to four women, and, according to police, tried to grope one. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of annoying and accosting a person of the opposite sex, attempting to commit indecent assault and battery, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.
In June, Marzilli checked into McLean Hospital in Belmont for what Kennedy described as bipolar disorder. The lawyer said today that the senator left the hospital this month and is spending his time at home, "preparing for the battle" ahead against the charges. Massachusetts Republicans have called on Marzilli to resign, but he has ignored them.
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