Many defendants in Massachusetts face criminal charges after being accused of pestering their ex-girlfriends. These situations may be complicated further with the presence of new romantic partners. While the old saying “all’s fair in love and war” might ring true in many circles, the criminal courts are of a decidedly different opinion. These opinions, however, may fluctuate based on effective appeals from defense attorneys. This was demonstrated by a recent decision to dismiss criminal charges against an ex-boyfriend in Massachusetts.
Why Did the Commonwealth Choose to Reverse a Decision to Dismiss a Criminal Complaint Against This Ex-Boyfriend?
This case begins with a breakup between two adults who share a child. The ex-boyfriend later became a defendant accused of offenses related to alleged stalking. The girlfriend went on to start a new relationship with an individual who later accused the defendant of these offenses. Simply put, the victim became unsettled by the defendant’s various social media posts. The defendant also allegedly photographed the victim’s nearby vehicle after watching his child’s soccer game.
Faced with these apparent issues, the victim went to a clerk magistrate and provided testimony. The magistrate believed that there was probable cause and issued a criminal complaint. The defendant immediately moved for a dismissal.
A judge allowed the motion and agreed that probable cause had not been established. Perhaps most crucially, the judge did not even take into account the oral testimony that the victim had provided during the two prior show hearings. The District Attorney later wrote that this testimony should have been considered, and therefore, the decision was reversed.
Some of the most notable details involve the nature of the social media posts made by the defendant, in which he describes the victim as a “beta male” who displays “weakness” and “cowers” behind females. He also posted what might have been interpreted as a threat: “I keep begging the universe not to push me.”
Facing these social media posts and alleged stalking, the victim and the ex-girlfriend allegedly became too afraid to leave their home – even after relocating to a new town. The defendant also claims that he suffered damage to his reputation after repeatedly being called a “child abuser” by the defendant on social media. It was alleged that the defendant made hundreds of social media posts targeting the defendant in the space of just 60 days.
The defendant’s counsel asked the judge to consider only the victim’s application rather than any of the more detailed testimony that he had provided. Seeing limited objections from the assistant district attorney, the judge considered only the application and came to a decision quickly. In the judge’s opinion, the application had, in fact, failed to establish probable cause, and he dismissed the criminal complaint.
The judge seemed to indicate that the social media posts were “protected speech” and were merely annoying rather than criminal in nature. However, the Commonwealth eventually reversed this decision and pointed out that the judge should have considered the oral testimony – and not just the application.
Find a Qualified Criminal Defense Lawyer in Massachusetts
If you have been searching for a qualified criminal defense attorney in Massachusetts, look no further than Edward R. Molari. With our help, you can appeal various decisions by criminal courts for more favorable outcomes. Book your consultation today to get started.