Pawtucket Police Officer Suspended in Domestic Case

As reported in the March 21, 2013 edition of the Providence Journal, a Pawtucket police officer has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of domestic violence charges. The man has been charged with domestic simple assault and four (4) counts of domestic disorderly conduct. The alleged victim is his ex-girlfriend. The matter has been scheduled for trial in April.

Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 11-5-3, simple assault is every person who shall make an assault or battery or both shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 11-45-1, disorderly conduct is very broadly defined and can include a wide range of behavior. A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:

(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;

(2) In a public place or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy, disturbs another person by making loud and unreasonable noise which under the circumstances would disturb a person of average sensibilities;

(3) Directs at another person in a public place offensive words which are likely to provoke a violent reaction on the part of the average person so addressed;

(4) Alone or with others, obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place ordinarily used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances;

(5) Engages in conduct which obstructs or interferes physically with a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering;

(6) Enters upon the property of another and for a lascivious purpose looks into an occupied dwelling or other building on the property through a window or other opening; or

(7) Who without the knowledge or consent of the individual, looks for a lascivious purpose through a window, or any other opening into an area in which another would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, a restroom, locker room, shower, changing room, dressing room, bedroom, or any other such private area, not withstanding any property rights the individual may have in the location in which the private area is located.

The penalties if convicted include imprisonment for a term of not more than six (6) months, or fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both. As both crimes are charged as domestic crimes, if convicted after trial, the police officer would face additional penalties of domestic violence counseling and a no-contact order with the victim.

A temporary no-contact order is in place while the case is pending and the resolution of the case will determine whether a permanent no-contact order is needed. Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 8-8.1-3, a person suffering from domestic abuse may file a complaint in the district court requesting any order which will protect her or him from the abuse, including but not limited to the following:

(1) Ordering that the defendant be restrained and enjoined from contacting, assaulting, molesting or otherwise interfering with the plaintiff at home, on the street, or elsewhere, whether the defendant is an adult or minor;

(2) Ordering the defendant to vacate the household forthwith, unless the defendant holds sole legal interest in the household;

(3) Upon motion by the plaintiff, his or her address shall be released only at the discretion of the district court judge;

(4) After notice to the respondent and after a hearing, the court may order the defendant to surrender physical possession of all firearms in his or her possession, care, custody or control.

The police officer may also be prevented from possessing a firearm due to the pending case, which would impact his ability to perform his job.

If you or a family member has been charged with assault, disorderly conduct or other domestic violence crimes, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at

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