The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office secured a conviction in a serious domestic violence case on Monday despite the unavailability of the victim to testify.

From the Berkshire District Attorney's Office Press Release:

Judge Laurie Macleod found Michael Lavigne, 49, of North Adams guilty on two counts of assault and battery on a household member after a bench trial in Northern Berkshire District Court. The Commonwealth proved that Lavigne assaulted the victim on March 7 and again on July 11.

Judge Macleod sentenced him to 18 months at the House of Correction.

“It is our responsibility to hold violent offenders accountable for their actions. Mr. Lavigne demonstrated his willingness to use mental and physical abuse to control the victim. This sentence will prevent him from continuing that behavior,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.

“We do not turn a blind eye to domestic violence and this outcome is a reflection of the priority our office and our partners in law enforcement place on these crimes. I thank the North Adams Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office for their dedicated investigation.”

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office utilized evidence-based prosecution to secure the conviction after the victim asserted the Fifth Amendment. The Commonwealth successfully argued that Mr. Lavigne coerced the victim not to testify through a series of phone calls from the House of Correction.

The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the cased based on previous statements, the recorded phone calls, and other evidence Police gathered to prove Mr. Lavigne committed the assaults.

Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington’s office serves all 32 cities and towns in Berkshire County. The office represents the Commonwealth in more than 7,500 criminal cases per year in Berkshire Superior Court, three district courts, three juvenile courts, Massachusetts Appeals Court, and Supreme Judicial Court.

The office works closely with the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force, and collaborates with local police departments across the county.

A dedicated staff of more than 50 prioritizes public safety, empowering victims and witnesses through services and support, and building a safe community for everyone and especially the most vulnerable.

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