Skip to comments.Judges:Why Was Pervert Free?
Posted on 01/22/2004 7:42:46 AM PST by Redcoat LIEdited on 01/22/2004 8:21:36 AM PST by Sidebar Moderator. [history]
Judges: Why was pervert free? By Dave Wedge and Jessica Heslam Thursday, January 22, 2004
Two of the state's top judges are calling for a probe into why probation officials allowed a sexual predator now accused of killing a Woburn mom and her daughter to remain free, despite repeated violations.
``I will make a formal inquiry,'' Justice Suzanne Delvecchio, head of the state's superior courts, said yesterday of the Michael Bizanowicz case.
Justice Samuel Zoll, head of the state's district courts, said he too is going to investigate why Bizanowicz apparently slipped through the cracks.
``Our involvement appears to be a narrow one,'' Zoll said. ``I'm going to familiarize myself with (the case).''
The state Department of Probation is ``currently reviewing this matter,'' said spokeswoman Coria Holland, who would not say if any action has been taken against Bizanowicz's Lowell probation officer, Claire Fogg.
Fogg did not return a call yesterday.
Bizanowicz, who is charged with the brutal slayings of Joanne and Alyssa Presti, served two years in jail and was put on five years probation after pleading guilty in 1998 to repeatedly drugging and raping a young boy and girl.
Prosecutors say Bizanowicz, who was released from jail in March 2001, violated his probation at least four times by failing to register as a sex offender, being arrested for forging a Percocet prescription, failing to notify probation of the arrest and failing to pay a probation service fee. Classified as a Level 3 sex offender - considered the most likely to reoffend - Bizanowicz also skipped out on sex offender treatment, authorities say.
A hearing on the alleged probation violations was slated for Feb. 3 in Lowell Superior Court - nearly eight months after his June 17, 2003, arrest in Woburn for forging a prescription. It was unknown yesterday when that hearing date was scheduled.
Under state law, a new arrest is a probation violation. It is the probation officer's decision whether to file charges.
Several court officials said yesterday that probation officers often wait until the new case is decided before charging the offender with a violation, especially when new charges are considered minor.
``Obviously any new offense of a sexual nature would have triggered something immediately,'' Delvechhio said. ``Decisions in this case were perhaps based on the offense in the district court.''
Bizanowicz's prescription forgery case was pending at the time of the murders. Despite his rap sheet, which dates back to 1981, and the alleged probation violations, Woburn District Court Judge George Sprague released him on $300 bail, an amount agreed upon by prosecutors and Bizanowicz's lawyer. Sprague refused comment yesterday.
Woburn police Chief Philip Mahoney said any Level 3 sex offender who breaks the law or violates probation should immediately be locked up.
``They need to be held to the highest standard,'' Mahoney said. ``They are a ticking time bomb and we don't know when they are going to go off.''
Delvecchio, who oversees the Superior Court probation department, said she is sending a letter to probation commissioner John J. O'Brien requesting an investigation. The judge defended the department, however, pointing out that officers sent out four surrender notices to Bizanowicz and had scheduled a hearing.
``Our probation department did work. They were bringing him in,'' she said. ``Unfortunately, (the Woburn murders) occurred before the hearing.''
Prosecutors say Bizanowicz entered Presti's Totman Road home on Jan. 4 or 5, gagged her with a towel, tied her up and raped her before beating her in the head and repeatedly stabbing her in the neck. Alyssa, who is the 12-year-old daughter of ex-Boston Bruin John Carter, apparently witnessed the attack and was chased upstairs by Bizanowicz, who slashed her throat, prosecutors said.
Two freaking years?! And to make matters worse, in MA, I'm sure the victims did not have the proper means of protecting themselves, like a HAND GUN! Those judge are MASSholes for sure.
Expect to see them censured. Boston Globe will surely defend the perp. After all, these are simply life-style choices and we shouldn't be intolerant of those who march to different drummers.
If he plead guilty to this charge, I'd bet it was a plea bargain.
Repeatedly drugged and raped a young girl.
Failed to register as a sex offender.
Forged a Percocet prescription. Is this the same drug he used previously to drug his little rape victims?
Failed to notify probation of the arrest.
Failed to pay a probation service fee.
Classified as a Level 3 sex offender - considered the most likely to reoffend.
Skipped out on sex offender treatment.
Despite his rap sheet, which dates back to 1981, and the alleged probation violations, Woburn District Court Judge George Sprague released him on $300 bail, an amount agreed upon by prosecutors and Bizanowicz's lawyer. This means he had to pay a bail bondsman $30, right?
Under state law, a new arrest (arrest, not conviction) is a probation violation. It is the probation officer's decision whether to file charges. A hearing on the alleged probation violations was slated for Feb. 3 in Lowell Superior Court - nearly eight months after his June 17, 2003, arrest in Woburn for forging a prescription. It was unknown yesterday when that hearing date was scheduled. The article doesn't state when all the other probation violations occurred, or when or if the probation department ever intended to do anything about them. ``Our probation department did work. They were bringing him in,'' she (Justice Suzanne Delvecchio, head of the state's superior courts) said. ``Unfortunately, (the Woburn murders) occurred before the hearing.'' An unfortunate choice of words, if you ask me.
To add insult to injury,the most common "penalty" for VOP is (ready for this ? )additional probation.
The real question is: How do some of these offenders get probation to start with ?
Ask the judges,and they'll blame the pre-sentence report-written,of course,by probation...without mentioning the fact judges are "jaw boning" prosecutors,defense attys,and probation officers into agreeing to probation terms,and rejecting out-of-hand pre-sentence reports that recommend incarceration.
The justice system is more concerned with the system than with justice - and has been for some time.
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