BOSTON, Oct. 21, 2013—A former Massachusetts Capitol Police officer was sentenced to at least two months behind bars today after his conviction for indecently assaulting a female acquaintance, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley announced.
A Suffolk Superior Court jury last week convicted THOMAS PARKER (D.O.B. 6/1/41) of indecent assault and battery and two counts of assault and battery. Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Riley recommended that Parker be sentenced to 2½ years in a house of correction, with one year to serve and the remaining balance suspended for a period of five years.
Judge Christine McEvoy imposed a sentence of 2½ years with 60 days to serve and the remainder suspended for two years, followed by an additional two years of probation. McEvoy additionally ordered Parker to have no unnecessary contact with the victim, submit to GPS monitoring, and undergo mental health treatment; if he fails to do so, or if he re-offends, he could be ordered to serve out the entirety of his sentence.
“Countless members of law enforcement have served Massachusetts with honor and distinction, protecting the public from danger even at great personal cost,” Conley said. “With his actions now proven in court, this defendant cut all ties with those men and women. We know that sexual assault is an underreported crime, and so I want to thank the victim in this case for her courage in coming forward and taking the stand, and I want to thank the investigators and prosecutors who worked so hard to reach this result.”
During the three-day trial, Riley presented evidence and testimony to prove that the victim, a 58-year-old Dorchester woman, was present at Dorchester District Court for a civil hearing on Oct. 12, 2010. Also at court that day was Parker, who was attending a hearing related to his condominium association.
Parker became a State trooper after the Capitol Police were consolidated into the Massachusetts State Police in 1992; he later retired. Testimony at trial proved that he entered the Dorchester courthouse without going through security, instead showing his State Police badge to gain access despite the fact that he was retired. He also wore a jacket with a State Police emblem on the chest.
After leaving the courthouse, Parker took a hold of the victim’s hand as they crossed the street and then expressed feelings for her. The victim, who protested to the physical contact, told Parker that she did not like him in that way and reminded him that he had a girlfriend.
At Parker’s request, the victim reluctantly agreed to give him a ride to his own vehicle. While sitting the victim’s car, Parker grabbed the woman’s face and forcibly kissed her before indecently assaulting her, the evidence showed.
In an impact statement delivered in court, the victim described how the assault has changed her life.
“Prior to that I was confident, healthful, and outgoing. Now, I am a shell of my former self. I can’t sleep at night. I am afraid to be in my apartment alone,” she told the court. “I put my friendship and trust in this man only to be hurt and violated.”
Sexual assault can happen to anyone. While the victims of any crime are asked to call 911 in an emergency, the survivors of sexual violence in Suffolk County can also call the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline at 800-841-8371. The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center provides medical advocacy, legal services, counseling, and other services to victims of rape and sexual assault.
Anne Kelley-McCarthy was the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Parker was represented by attorney Willie Davis.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.