Disorderly Conduct: Not Guilty After Trial
A 40-year-old adult man had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old-juvenile delinquent. Toward the end of their relationship, the boy told his family and police that the man threatened to kill him while holding a firearm. Specifically, the boy told police that he had become friends with and worked part-time for the man.
One day, while visiting his apartment, the boy claimed the man asked for oral sex while the two were in the man’s kitchen seated at the kitchen table where the man was cleaning his firearm. When the boy allegedly said no, he claimed the man, while pointing to the gun, threatened to kill him and everyone he loves. Based on the boy’s claim, the man was arrested by Pawtucket Police and criminally charged in Rhode Island District Court with disorderly conduct. He retained Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, to defend him in this matter. The man elected his right to trial.
The proceeding was presided over by a judge sitting alone. The City of Pawtucket called the boy as its star witness. He appeared in Court while in custody serving a juvenile jail sentence at the Training School. He testified consistently with his story to police. However, on cross-examination he admitted his drug use, delinquency, prior group home residences, time served at the training school, running away from home, providing a false urine sample to his juvenile probation officer to conceal his drug use, suicide attempts, and admission to a mental health hospital. He vehemently denied having any sexual relationship with the man, which he emphasized to police when making his allegations of the death threat. After locking the boy into this denial under oath, Attorney Calcagni confronted the now 17-year-old with hundreds of text messages he exchanged with the man detailing their ongoing sex life, professed love for each other, overnight stays in hotel rooms, drug use, and more. Attorney Calcagni also developed the boy’s motive to lie, which centered on his dating a new girlfriend, which caused his boss heartache and jealousy.
During closing arguments, Attorney Calcagni argued that the boy lied to police and the Court while under oath; was otherwise unreliable due to his delinquency history; and had made allegations against his client to get the man out of his life. The Court accepted Attorney Calcagni’s argument and theory by finding his client not guilty.