BOSTON, Feb. 21, 2013—A Boston man was sentenced to up to four years in prison last week after a trial in which the victim chose not to testify against the man who beat her, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
After a three-day trial, a Suffolk Superior Court jury on Feb. 12 convicted DENVILLE BEMBRIDGE (D.O.B. 5/12/74) of aggravated assault and battery for beating the victim, a family member, in his home on March 7, 2012. The victim suffered serious facial injuries, including the loss of several teeth.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Keeley recommended that Bembridge serve three to four years in state prison, and Judge Raymond Brassard on Feb. 15 imposed a term of two years and eight months to four years.
“Cases of domestic violence can be among the most challenging to prosecute, but they’re some of the most important, too,” Conley said. “We understand the trauma it causes to its victims and those who love them. We understand their fears and conflicted emotions. Whatever their choices may be, we’re here to support them and seek justice on their behalf.”
At trial, Keeley introduced the testimony of a man who was present for a portion of the March 7, 2012, incident; four responding Boston Police officers; and a police Tape Room librarian in order to play the victim’s 911 call for the jury. Jurors also received medical records showing that the victim was hospitalized with a laceration to her lip, several missing teeth, and a fracture to the bone around her right eye. Jurors did not hear from the victim herself.
Bembridge fled the scene before police arrived. He was apprehended several months later.
“It wasn’t an easy case to try, but it was the only way to hold this man accountable,” Conley said. “Our prosecutor did an outstanding job at trial.”
Conley urged victims of any crime, including crimes of domestic violence, to call 911 in an emergency. SafeLink, a statewide DV hotline, can be reached at 877-785-2020. SafeLink is answered by trained advocates 24 hours a day in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well as TTY at 877-521-2601. It also has the capacity to provide multilingual translation in more than 140 languages.
The DA also took note of Massachusetts’ upcoming observance of White Ribbon Day on March 7. Conley is a co-chair of this year’s White Ribbon Day campaign, in which men of all ages are asked to pledge to be part of the solution in ending violence against women.
“It’s more than promising not to commit violence against women,” Conley said. “It’s about promising to speak out against it and taking a stand to help end it.”
Nicole Crosta was the DA’s victim-witness advocate on the Bembridge case. The defendant was represented by attorney Edward Swan. To learn more about the White Ribbon Day campaign, visit www.whiteribbonday.janedoe.org.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.