Some Background Guidance On Recognising Vital Elements In
At a February hearing in front of Hampden Superior Court Judge Constance M. Sweeney, attorneys argued over issues of consent -- and whether one of the man's accusers needed to say "no" for a count of rape to stand. Sweeney ruled in late March, "Whether or not he (Martin) reasonably believed she consented to the encounter is not determinative of the question of probable cause." Three women have leveled sexual assault allegations against Martin, 41, of Granby. Grand juries have indicted him on charges including rape and indecent assault and battery. He has denied each of the charges. At issue at the February hearing were indictments relating to a woman who says Martin, who practiced law in Springfield and other courts, forced her to perform oral sex on him after she went to his office on June 6, 2016, to discuss her upcoming divorce. Defense attorney Alan J. Black argued there was not enough probable cause to support the grand jury's indictments: one count of rape and two counts of indecent assault and battery. Those charges should be dropped, Black argued, because the grand jury minutes do not indicate the woman told Martin "no." There is no evidence of a "lack of consent" at all, he said; later on the woman talked about being confused and there being an issue of power. Assistant District Attorney Eileen Sears had argued at the hearing that an explicit, verbal "no" isn't necessary. Sears said the woman said she was fearful, intimidated and didn't feel she could say "no," which is equal to her not consenting. Sweeney ruled evidence presented to a Hampden Superior Court grand jury "was sufficient to establish probable cause that the defendant forced the alleged victim to engage in sexual intercourse with him." In her ruling, Sweeney writes that Martin argues that the grand jury was not presented with evidence that "the alleged intercourse occurred against the alleged victim's will or without her consent." She wrote, "In fact, the grand jury heard evidence that the defendant, an attorney, met with (initials of woman) at his office on 6/6/2016, to discuss (initials of woman) pending divorce and whether the defendant would represent her." Sweeney wrote that during the meeting, Martin engaged in the sexual conduct.
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