State & Region Briefs

Thursday, December 07, 2017
Church Nativity scene honors victims of gun massacres

DEDHAM — A Catholic church in a Boston suburb is using its traditional Nativity scene to call attention to gun violence.

The display in front of St. Susanna’s Parish in Dedham depicts the birth of Jesus, but lining the walls around Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus are hand-painted signs listing the country’s deadliest mass shootings and the number of people killed at each.

The list references 16 massacres including those in Columbine, Colo.; Newtown, Conn.; Orlando, Fla.; Virginia Tech, Charleston, S.C.; Sutherland Springs, Texas and Las Vegas, Nev.

A banner overhead quotes from the Gospel of Luke: “If only you knew the things that make for Peace.” The church said in its bulletin this week that the list serves as a “sobering reminder” to continue to work for peace.

2 more reputed mobsters plead guilty to extortion

SPRINGFIELD — Two more alleged associates of the New York-based Genovese crime family have pleaded guilty to extortion charges in western Massachusetts.

Acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts William Weinreb’s office says 61-year-old Francesco Depergola and 53-year-old Gerald Daniele entered the pleas Wednesday in federal court in Worcester.

They join 54-year-old Giovanni Calabrese and 50-year-old Ralph Santaniello, who pleaded guilty last month. A fifth man, Richard Valentini, is headed for trial on Dec. 11.

The men were accused of loansharking and extortion in Springfield involving both legitimate and illegal businesses. Prosecutors say they used violence, exploited their affiliation with La Cosa Nostra and made implied threats of murder to instill fear in their victims.

Sentencing for Depergola and Daniele is set for March 9. Santaniello and Calabrese will be sentenced Jan. 29 and 30, respectively.

Lawsuit filed against Misty Blue before ship sinking

NANTUCKET — Court records show a Massachusetts crewmember filed a lawsuit against the Misty Blue less than a month before the vessel sank off the coast of Nantucket.

Matthew Lyons, of Fairhaven, filed the $1.5 million lawsuit against the ship and its New Jersey-based owner, Sea Harvest Inc., Nov. 8. Lyons claims he suffered a shattered heel due to crew negligence and the ships “unseaworthiness.”

Lyons’ attorney tells The Standard-Times the lawsuit is based on the legal definition of unseaworthy, meaning any unsafe condition on the vessel. Atlantic Cape Fisheries, owner of the Misty Blue, says the lawsuit is unrelated to the vessel sinking Monday.

Police say divers located an object believed to be the vessel Tuesday. The search will continue Thursday for two of the four crewmembers that remain missing.

Man accused of raping 2 nursing home residents

NEW BEDFORD — A 57-year-old man has been charged with raping two residents at a Massachusetts nursing home.

Court records show Jacob King, of Fall River, was charged with three counts of rape related to offenses that occurred in September and November.

Police say the rapes happened while King worked as a nurse at Savoy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in New Bedford. King told police he was engaging in affairs and he “never forced” himself on the women.

King’s attorney declined to comment. The owner of the nursing facility, Didie Watsop, said the safety of the residents is their “number one priority.”

King has been released on home confinement.

From Associated Press