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State & Region Briefs


Thursday, May 17, 2018
Warren challenger ends lawsuit over ‘fake Indian’ sign

BOSTON — A U.S. Senate candidate in Massachusetts is ending a lawsuit he’d filed against a city that asked him to remove a sign from a campaign bus reading: “Only a REAL INDIAN Can Defeat the Fake Indian.”

Shiva Ayyadurai was born in India and is running as an independent against Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The slogan refers to Warren’s claims of Native American ancestry.

In a court filing Thursday, Ayyadurai asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit, saying the city of Cambridge has rescinded its enforcement order.

In the original complaint filed last month, Ayyadurai said his First Amendment rights were violated when Cambridge’s building inspector told his campaign it didn’t have permission to display the banner on the bus, which was parked at a building the candidate owns.

Man pleads guilty to raping mentally disabled woman

SALEM — A man has pleaded guilty to raping his girlfriend’s mentally disabled daughter, which his girlfriend allegedly allowed in exchange for bill payments and cash.

The Eagle-Tribune reports that 69-year-old John Leone, of Methuen, was sentenced Wednesday to up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to rape and indecent assault and battery.

The woman was 25 by the time Leone was arraigned in 2015. Leone told investigators he started having sex with the woman in 2013 and he considered himself her mentor.

The victim’s court-appointed guardian says the woman has an IQ of 49 and still believes in Santa Claus. Prosecutors say the victim was not capable of consenting to sex.

Criminal charges against Leone’s girlfriend are pending.

Officials say PawSox stadium deal still possible

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien say there’s a “framework” or “pathway” to a deal on a new stadium for the Pawtucket PawSox.

Grebien said Wednesday one option could reduce the state’s contribution for the ballpark from $23 million to $8 million if a private group stepped in to help. The PawSox are the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Mattiello said he wasn’t considering that option and there is no agreement, but he said there’s a “framework” that could work. He wouldn’t elaborate.

In January, the Senate approved a deal for the state to contribute $23 million of the $83 million needed for the stadium. Mattiello said that deal is dead.

Worcester has also been courting the team.

Lawmaker accused of choking political rival at restaurant

LOWELL — A judge has declined to issue a harassment protection order against a state lawmaker accused of choking a political challenger.

The judge on Thursday found there was no sufficient basis to file the order against Democratic Rep. Rady Mom in connection with what happened at a restaurant this month.

Sam Meas claims Mom responded angrily when he tapped his shoulder to say hello. Meas alleges Mom grabbed his neck and pressed a fist against his chest.

Mom’s lawyer, John Cox, says several witnesses disagree with that account. He calls the complaint politically motivated.

The lawmaker says he greeted Meas with a “normal handshake.”

Mom is an acupuncture therapist who in 2014 became the first Cambodian-American elected to a U.S. state Legislature.

Berkshire County man convicted of child rape

PITTSFIELD — A man convicted of raping a 5-year-old girl faces life in prison when he’s sentenced later this month.

Prosecutors say 34-year-old Stephen Hyland, of Otis, is being held pending a sentencing hearing following his conviction this week on multiple charges including forcible child rape.

Hyland was convicted of assaulting the girl in the area of the Otis Reservoir in the summer of 2011 when she and Hyland were alone.

Authorities say after assaulting the girl, Hyland exposed himself to the girl and asked her to touch him, which she refused to do. Hyland then told the girl not to tell anyone.

The girl came forward in August 2016.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that Hyland had been accused of several previous instances of sexual contact with girls.

From Associated Press