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Prosecutors seek jail time in Marzilli case
By Andrea Estes, Globe Staff
Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone is recommending jail time for former state senator J. James Marzilli Jr., who is accused of sexually harassing four women in Lowell last year.
J. James Marzilli Jr.
In a memorandum filed in court last week, prosecutor Elizabeth Dunigan said that if Marzilli were to plead guilty before trial, she would recommend he serve one year in jail, followed by four years of probation. After his release, he would also be required to wear an electronic monitoring device, undergo sex offender treatment, and complete 400 hours of community service.
If the case were to go to trial Dunigan said she would seek much harsher punishment -- four years in jail, if Marzilli were convicted.
Marzilli's attorney, Terrence Kennedy, said his client would not agree to any plea bargain that includes jail time.
"It's not appropriate in this case," said Kennedy. "The facts and circumstances don't warrant that recommendation."
Marzilli, he said, is suffering from a mental illness, which should be a mitigating factor.
Unless prosecutors offer a deal without jail time, Kennedy said, the case will proceed to trial. The trial was scheduled for April 28, but has been delayed.
Marzilli, a longtime lawmaker from Arlington who resigned last fall, was indicted on seven counts -- including attempted indecent assault and battery, accosting four women, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.
He is accused of approaching the alleged victims last June 3 while he was in Lowell attending a function. He approached the first woman outside a community health center about 11 a.m., telling her "how beautiful she was and that he loved her," according to the memorandum. "He eyed her up and down and said "the sex is sweet, the sex is sweet, you want it, and you want to go with me."
About a half-hour later, he approached the second women telling her "oooh baby, you are so beautful, your body is perfect, your butt is so perfect."
Around 1 p.m., Marzilli approached the third alleged victim, who was waiting for a bus. Marzilli allegedly asked her if she was wearing underwear. The woman, who was walking with a cane, was so shaken that when the bus arrived, she fell, the prosecutors said.
Marzilli approached the fourth woman at about 3 p.m., prosecutors said. Marzilli, who sat down beside her on a bench, "leaned into her and said, "Since I saw you, I've liked you. You are a very beautiful woman." He then moved his hand and eyes towards her crotch," the memorandum said.
Two of the woman's male co-workers pointed out Marzilli to a police officer. But when officers tried to question him, he fled, running "through moving traffic as motorists swerved to avoid him." He ran into a parking garage where he was cornered by police. When the officers sought to arrest him, he "ignored the officers' commands and refused to be handcuffed," prosecutors allege.