RUSSIAN IMMIGRANT DOMESTIC ASSAULT BATTERY CHARGE DISMISSED

JF, a 36 year old resident alien from Russia, lived in Andover with his wife, also a resident alien from Russia. Both he and she are software engineers. On Friday evening, November 6, 2015, JF went to a retirement party for a fellow employee at a hotel in Andover. JF’s wife was angry with JF because she felt he was having an affair with another woman – an accusation that he denied. She declined to go to the retirement party with him. According to the Andover police reports at 6:40 in the morning on Saturday, November 7, 2015 the police responded to a 911 call from JF’s apartment. Upon arriving they found JF and his stunning 26 year old wife in the apartment. The police report reads: “I could hear crying coming from the bedroom so I entered the room and observed a female sitting on a mattress on the floor in the back corner of the room. .. She was crying hysterically and could barely speak. She had a laceration to her left eye that was red and swollen and a bruise at the corner of her right eye. Her face was red and appeared to be swollen.  I also observed scratches on her right arm. She had a bloody paper towel that she was patting her eye with. I asked her what happened and she replied that her husband (JF) came home at 4:30 AM drunk and they began arguing. She stated that her husband then pushed her to the ground and when she tried to get up he grabbed her by the back of the neck with one hand and was punching her in the face with a closed fist with the other hand. She was shaking and hyperventilating while trying to speak to me.” A police photographer was called to the apartment and numerous color photos of JF’s wife were taken. The police arrested JF and brought him to the Andover PD. The following Monday JF was arraigned in Lawrence District Court and his case was continued to December 11, 2015 for a pre-trial hearing. JF contacted, met with, and retained Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover. Attorney Lewin took a detailed statement of the facts of the case and learned that in fact it was JF’s wife who had been the primary aggressor in the fight and she was the person who started the fight. In addition Attorney Lewin learned that it was JF, and not his wife, who made the 911 call to the police because he was afraid that his wife was going to kill him. Attorney Lewin filed the appropriate motions to obtain a copy of JF’s 911 call to the police. (The Commonwealth was slow to turn this over because they knew it hurt their case but the Defense got the 911 call.) In addition JF had been badly beaten and scratched by his wife and (fortunately) the police had taken photos of JF and Attorney Lewin secured color copies of those pictures. On December 11, 2015 JF and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lawrence District Court and the case was continued for a jury trial to February 23, 2016. Attorney Lewin met with JF’s wife and established an excellent relationship with her. Attorney Lewin explained that she had both a Marital Privilege not to testify against her husband as well as a Fifth Amendment Privilege not to testify. Attorney Lewin fully prepared JF for the trial. A “mock trial” was conducted in Attorney Lewin’s office. Attorney Lewin “role played” the part of the Assistant District Attorney and prepared JF for his cross-examination by the District Attorney. On February 23, 2016 Attorney Lewin and JF appeared at Lawrence District Court and answered ready for trial when the case was called. JF’s wife exercised her marital privilege and declined to testify. The Commonwealth decided not to go ahead with the case (although they could have). Attorney Lewin moved that the charge be dismissed and the Judge ordered the case dismissed. Had JF been convicted he may very well have been deported back to Russia. JF and his wife left the Court House arm in arm very happy with the outcome.