A Somerville man has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail after he pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his online efforts to lure a teen into engaging in sexual conduct.
District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office announced Monday that Justin Koser, 31, was sentenced on Jan. 22 after he pleaded guilty to two counts of enticement of a child under 16 and attempted rape of a child.
“The defendant lied about his age and identity online and knowingly approached a 15-year-old girl seeking to engage in sexual conduct,” Ryan said in a release about Koser’s case. “Thankfully this victim told her parents and police were able to step in and protect the victim.”
The sentencing comes as Ryan has recently met with students in Arlington and Waltham to discuss cyber safety.
According to Ryan’s office, Koser began communicating online with a girl who identified herself as 15 years old in September of 2012. Koser claimed to be a 17-year-old student from Andover and instead of using his own photo on his instant message profile, he used a photo of what appeared to be that of a teenage boy, according to Ryan’s office.
Soon Koser began sending the girl text messages that included sexual remarks and told her he was older than 17 years old. Reading Police were notified of the messages, and tracked the origin of messages sent by computer to the girl back to Koser’s home in Somerville, according to Ryan’s office.
Koser continued sending messages to the girl and offered to pick her up or meet her in a secluded location and he continued to discuss the sexual nature of his intentions. When Koser attempted to meet the girl in a wooded area after dark on Oct. 6, 2012, he was arrested by Reading Police, who seized the cell phone he had been using to send the text messages, according to the district attorney.
In addition to his sentence to more than two years in a House of Correction, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman sentenced Koser to five years of probation, is requiring that he register as a sex offender and ordered that he must have no unsupervised contact with children under 16.
Malden City Councilor David D’Arcangelo might run for Sen. Katherine Clark’s former state Senate seat, though he said he is also recruiting others to try for the seat and evaluating other options.
“It’s such a short race and then you’ve got to run again,” D’Arcangelo told the News Service, referring to the April 1 special election, followed by another election in November.
He said, “Maybe there’s a November run rather than a run in April. We really need to try to make sure there’s a full marketplace of ideas, instead of just a steady diet of tax and spend.”
After long-time Republican Sen. Richard Tisei gave up the Senate seat to run for lieutenant governor in 2010, Malden City Councilor Craig Spadafora lost to Clark, of Melrose, in the 2010 race to replace Tisei in the Senate.
D'Archangleo said he's encouraged Spadafora to try again in the 5th Middlesex District. After winning a special Congressional election last Tuesday, Clark traded the state Senate for the U.S. House of Representatives.
D’Arcangelo also mentioned as potential GOP candidates Melrose Alderwoman Monica Medeiros and Melrose Republican David Lucas, who lost a bid for Clark’s former House seat in 2010.
“We want somebody who’s going to take it seriously who’s going to have the time to invest,” said D’Arcangelo, who said he is concerned what effect the back-to-back campaigns would have on his Archangel Communications business.
As a former aide to Tisei, who held the seat and the title of minority leader before Clark won it for the Democrats, D’Arcangelo said he would meet with the state party Tuesday to discuss his options. “Our system of government was not designed to work with just one party, and that’s what we have right now, unfortunately,” said D’Arcangelo.
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Months after her office was criticized for its handling of a domestic violence case that ended in murder, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan is pushing legislation that increases penalties on defendants with a history of violence and in cases where the victim is a household or family member.
Ryan testified before the Joint Committee on Public Safety Thursday in favor of a bill (H 3242) that broadens the aggravated assault and battery statute when the defendant has previously been convicted of certain crimes, including violating a restraining order. The bill, entitled “an act relative to protecting domestic violence victims from repeat offenders,” was filed by Rep. Carolyn Dykema, a Democrat from Holliston.
The legislation also increases penalties for a defendant on an assault and battery charge who violates a judge’s order not to contact the victim as a condition of release on bail. Currently, a defendant is subject to increased penalties only when the assault and battery occurs in violation of a restraining order, according to Ryan.
“Right now the legislation does not provide for violation of the court order, a stay away order, to be an aggravating factor. This bill would remedy that,” she said. “This bill would say that if you have been ordered by the court to stay away from the victim and you, in fact, violate that order, commit an assault and battery, that will be an aggravating factor. It just increases the number of aggravating factors.”
The legislation gives prosecutors more tools to recommend higher sentences, and gives judges more discretion in sentencing, without creating mandatory minimum sentences, Ryan said.
Ryan is pushing for passage of four domestic violence bills, according to a spokeswoman. “It is part and parcel of a broader review of domestic violence legislation to increase penalties and discretion in sentencing that began when the DA took office,” spokeswoman MaryBeth Long said.
Ryan testified before lawmakers in July on a handful of bills, including one to create a new crime of strangulation and strangulation with serious bodily injury. In October, the Senate passed a domestic violence bill that included the strangulation measure. The bill is awaiting action in the House.
In August, the Middlesex District Attorney’s office was criticized for how it handled the case against Jared Remy, who was in court on an assault and battery charge two days before he allegedly killed his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, a case that has spurred a reexamination of laws intended to prevent domestic violence.
Remy was arrested for allegedly slamming his longtime girlfriend into a mirror, and the DA’s office was publicly criticized for not asking a judge to continue to hold him, based on a past history of domestic violence charges, or ordering him to stay away from Martel following his arraignment.
In the wake of Martel’s murder, House Speaker Robert DeLeo asked Attorney General Martha Coakley to partner with him in looking at the state’s restraining order laws.
Dykema, who filed the bill in January, said abusers often have a history of violence before the domestic violence incident that should raise a red flag.
The bill recognizes if the defendant has a past history of violent behavior, they would be eligible for increased penalties on the domestic violence charge, Dykema said.
Dykema told the News Service the issue hit close to home for her after a Westborough mother was murdered in a domestic violence incident several years ago. After the woman’s death, she worked with former Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone, and then Ryan when she took office, Dykema said.
One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, Dykema said.
“The most frustrating thing I hear from the public when you read these tragedies in the paper, there is a clear history of violence. People ask themselves, and I ask myself, why weren’t we able to recognize this…to discern the clear signs. This (bill) allows us to recognize those past patterns of behavior.”
The Reading Pop Warner A Team made history in style on Thursday, as it won the Unlimited Division national championship in Orlando, pummeling the Shaker Fire Raiders of Ohio, 39-13.
After being halted on its first drive of the game, Reading scored on every remaining offensive possession, until the Rockets kneeled on the ball late in the fourth, clinching the town’s first ever Pop Warner football national title and a 15-0 record.
Andrew Bruckner, Jack Geiger, and Matt Panacopoulous were three of many key offensive contributors, while coach Dave Erwin said his defense “played a phenomenal game. I think they only held the other team to one first down in the first half, and that was on a penalty.”
He added, “The coaches are very proud of the effort this year. The kids were great teammates for each other, and it was a great season all-around.”