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Big win for Massachusetts

State Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley has decided in a statutory rape case that holding a person without bail is against the law overturning a District Court judge’s decision on the matter.

According to the state supreme court judge statutory tape is not listed in the bail statute. There is a clause in the law for holding a person without bail in crimes involving a substantial risk of physical force. The judge has ruled this does not apply to statutory rape because force is not an element required in a statutory rape case.

The prosecutors completely disagree with this ruling and have asked the judge to reconsider his interpretation of the law however as this consideration takes place, David W. Barnes, a man facing charges for repeatedly having sexual relations with a 15 year girl who he hired as a prostitute is free.

The judge did however state that “he was not saying Barnes doesn’t pose a danger or that holding him wouldn’t serve the ends of public safety, or that lawmakers wouldn’t add the charge to the list of offenses covered under the law if the issue was presented to them.”

Prosecutor Kim Faitella completely disagreed with the judge saying all sex with someone under the age of consent is force because intercourse itself amounts to force.

Two years ago, Judge Feeley heard a bail appeal in the case of Richard Bly who travelled to allegedly to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old girl for sex.

In that case, prosecutors argued that the child enticement charge allowed them to seek pre-trial detention. At that time Judge Feeley also disagreed on very similar grounds.

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