NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 21, 2013

Group home worker guilty of assault on disabled man

(Continued)

Bleau told jurors that after interviewing all of the witnesses and the victim and his mother, she fired Martin and contacted Salem police, who filed criminal charges against Martin.

Stults tried to suggest that the group home’s protocols were not followed and questioned the delay in reporting the incident. She later argued to jurors that Knowlton’s account “doesn’t make sense” and tried to suggest that Knowlton had a motive to lie because he hadn’t followed the proper protocol.

But Sylvanowicz, the prosecutor, said that he had.

The victim “put his faith in Mr. Martin” to care for him, said Sylvanowicz. Instead, he was abused by an angry man who was “sick and tired” of caring for the victim.

It took the jury just 20 minutes to reach a verdict.

Sylvanowicz had urged the judge to impose a 21/2 year jail term, calling Martin’s acts “egregious.”

Martin, who also works full time as a computer programmer for the state’s Executive Office of Administration and Finance, earning approximately $60,000 a year, had made an attempt to resolve the case short of trial yesterday, but he balked at admitting guilt. He contended that what a co-worker saw as kicking was simply his attempt to pick up the resident by bracing his foot first.

When Judge Robert Brennan said he would not accept a plea deal in which Martin did not admit guilt, the case went to trial.

Martin’s lawyer argued that a conviction would prevent her client from regaining his firearms license, which he uses when taking part in Revolutionary War re-enactments.

Martin is a member of “His Majesty’s 10th Regiment,” portraying a British soldier during the Revolutionary War, according to the group’s Facebook page and another area re-enactor.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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