A 35-year-old Fall River man who violently assaulted his girlfriend and then spent a month attempting to intimidate her into recanting was sentenced to serve three years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
While in the midst of a Fall River Superior Court trial last month, the defendant, Moses Drew, decided to plead guilty to indictments charging him with assault and battery on a family or household member and intimidation of a witness.
On August 10, 2018, Fall River Police received a 911 call and responded to the area of 819 North Main Street. There they saw the defendant and his girlfriend standing on opposite sides of the street. Police spoke to the victim and saw swelling to her cheek and lip areas. Though she was reluctant to report what happened to police, she indicated that the defendant slammed her. While receiving medical treatment for her injuries at St. Anne’s Hospital, she reported that the defendant struck her in their apartment and caused her to lose consciousness.
While being held in jail pending trial, the defendant began calling the victim repeatedly over a four week period. During eight phone calls between mid-August and mid-September of 2018, the defendant admitted to assaulting the victim, while also intimidating her in an effort to prevent her from testifying against him at trial. On multiple occasions, the defendant instructed her to contact the District Attorney’s Office and claim that the allegations against him were false in order to expedite his release from jail. He coached her on how to recant her allegations to our office’s Victim Witness Advocates, to prosecutors, and to the court. He also directed her to assert her 5th amendment privilege not to testify against him or otherwise not appear in court. The defendant also arranged to help the victim financially while incarcerated.
At trial, Assistant District Attorney Jose Vazquez proceeded based on police officers’ observations of the victim’s injuries, hospital records, testimony from a radiologist at St. Anne’s Hospital who treated the victim, and jail calls. Captains John Silva and Derek Reis testified on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office to authenticate the calls and identify the defendant’s voice. The victim’s mother also identified her daughter’s voice on the recordings. Despite having testified truthfully at Grand Jury, the victim feigned memory loss at trial.
After the first of eight jail calls was played for the jury, the defendant decided to plead guilty to the indictmenst and was formally sentenced by Judge Renee Deupuis to serve three years in state prison and two years of probation on January 24th.
“I am pleased the defendant accepted responsibility for this violent assault and repeated attempts to coerce the victim to not testify during his jury trial. The defendant has a history of similar conduct,” District Attorney Quinn said.