BOSTON, MA – Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturned the conviction of a Wilmington man, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting two six year-old girls in separate incidents in 1998.
Herbert Dorazio was indicted in February 2009, arraigned in March 2009, found guilty in July 2010, and sentenced to 12-15 years in prison, plus 10 years of probation, in August 2010. Dorazio’s lawyers appealed the verdict all the way to the state’s highest court.
Dorazio allegedly committed the crimes from 1996 to 1998 while a resident of Burlington. At the time of his arrest, when his victims came forward ten years later, he was living in Wilmington.
According to a 2010 press release from the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office:
[Dorazio] lived in a neighborhood where families and children socialized at each other’s homes. [Dorazio] would often prefer to play with the children, particularly at his own home.
During one of the neighborhood gatherings when the neighborhood children were playing at his house, [Dorazio] created an opportunity to be alone with the first victim in his backyard. It was during this time that [Dorazio] first sexually assaulted the victim. A second similar assault on this victim took place within two weeks of the first assault.
[Dorazio] also knew the second victim from neighborhood gatherings. On one afternoon, [Dorazio] asked the second victim to accompany him inside his house to get something from the basement. Once the two were downstairs alone, [Dorazio] sexually assaulted the second victim.
Interestingly, Dorazio’s conviction was overturned because the prosecutors introduced evidence that Dorazio was tried for a DIFFERENT sexual assault stemming from a 1998 incident at the Burlington Chuck E Cheese. Dorazio had been acquitted of those charges.
“The defendant was put to the task of defending against not only the allegations involving [the two accusers], but also those involving [the third],” wrote the court in its decision. “The trial involving the [third] complainant had taken place approximately twelve years before the trial involving [the two accusers], too remote in time not to result in prejudice to the defendant in having to defend again against those charges (because the defendant was acquitted, no record of testimony even exists).”
The court’s ruling can be read HERE. WARNING: It includes graphic details of Dorazio’s alleged crimes.
The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office told the Lowell Sun it has not made a decision yet whether it will retry Dorazio.
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