Two men accused of committing a hate crime at South Station were arraigned on charges of unarmed robbery, assault and battery, and a civil rights violating with injury in a Boston court late last month.
Both individuals were subsequently held on $15,000 bail.
Investigators claim that the victim of the attack was waiting inside the lobby for the South Station Commuter Rail early one Saturday morning when the two defendants allegedly began yelling homophobic slurs at him without any prior provocation. Transit police say the man ignored the men and eventually asked them to leave him alone. Police say the men then returned five minutes later, at which point they punched the man and stole his phone before fleeing.
The victim was later treated at a local hospital for injuries to his face. Authorities said they used surveillance tape footage in conjunction with the man’s cellphone to locate the suspects.
One of the men admitted to police during questioning that he and the other defendant got into an argument with the victim, during which time he punched the man.
Unarmed robbery is defined as the act by which an individual through force, violence, or assault, robs, steals or takes money or property from the control of another person, without the use of a dangerous weapon. Unlike the crime of armed robbery, the use of a weapon is not needed to substantiate this crime, merely the use or threat of force. In an effort to deter criminals, Massachusetts imposes seemingly disproportionate penalties on those convicted of unarmed robbery. A person convicted of unarmed robbery in Massachusetts faces imprisonment for any terms of years in a state prison with the maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Eventhough assault and battery is a misdemeanor offense, Massachusetts prosecutes these cases aggressively. An assault and battery is defined as the intentional and unjustified use of force upon the person of another however slight, or the intentional doing of a wanton or grossly negligent act causing personal injury to another. If convicted, a defendant may be punished by a sentence of up to two years in a house of correction or by a fine of up to $1,000.
The penalties associated with the alleged hate crime in this case are particularly harsh. Massachusetts law defines a hate crime as one in which an individual, “commits an assault or a battery upon a person or damages the real or personal property of a person with the intent to intimidate such person because of such person’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability[.]” Effective as of July 1, 2012, in Massachusetts, an individual convicted of battery resulting in bodily injury, which is committed within the parameters of the relevant hate crime criteria, can face up to five years in state prison and/or a fine of up to ten thousand dollars.
If you’ve been accused of unarmed robbery, assault and battery, or any other crime, hire a skilled defense attorney with specialized knowledge in the field of theft crimes who will battle for you at trial to win your case. When you are facing a maximum of life in prison, you don’t want to take any chances. Attorney Murphy may be able to have the charges dismissed, or reduced down to lesser charges in order to avoid a trial. Observe your right to remain silent when questioned by law enforcement officials, and request to have counsel present at your first opportunity. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy immediately for a free assessment of your case by calling 617-367-0450 or by completing our online contact form.
More Blog Posts:
New York Woman Charged with Larceny in Connection with Boston Marathon Fund, Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, published July 25, 2013
Alleged Chinatown Crime Boss Sentenced on Drug and Other Charges, Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, published July 17, 2013