Sword-Wielding Woman Arraigned in Salem

These replicas of Viking swords belong to members of the Viking enthusiast group Draugar Vinlands.
These replicas of Viking swords belong to members of the Viking enthusiast group Draugar Vinlands. –MARK LORENZ/BOSTON GLOBE

A Salem woman pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon at Salem District Court Friday after pointing a sword at her ex-boyfriend, the Salem News reports.

Loriann Duchesne, 41, and the ex in question split two months ago but are still technically living together at 405 Essex St. while Duchesne and her fiancé, who was in the house at the time of the incident, look for new housing. Although Duchesne’s ex is usually at his new girlfriend’s residence, he still pays rent for the apartment and stops by frequently.

During a recent visit, he was collecting some of his belongings from the apartment when things got messy. At one point Duchesne’s fiancé and ex-boyfriend began to argue; as tensions rose, Duchesne retrieved a sword from the bedroom and aimed it at her ex-boyfriend, who was standing approximately three feet away.


According to the Salem News, Duchesne told police that she lowered the weapon once she truly registered what she was doing; in the meantime, her fiancé had called the police.

According to police, the sword was confiscated along with five daggers, two folding knives, a ball-and-chain weapon (sometimes called a mace), and four other swords, all stored in the bedroom.

While Duchesne’s lawyer, Matthew Forlizzi, attempted to explain the unconventional living arrangement to the judge — adding that Duchesne receives Social Security Disability Income and was seeking new accommodations — prosecutor Lars Trautman requested that bail be set for Duchesne, citing her “very concerning’’ behavior and weapons collection.

Though Judge Matthew Machera denied that request, he did agree to Trautman’s suggestion that the police hold on to the swords for the length of the case.

He also ordered Duchesne to stay away from her ex.

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