Shutesbury man gets 6 months probation for assault, civil rights violation

Staff Writer
Published: 10/7/2019 5:25:54 PM

ORANGE — Despite a victim’s emotional plea that his attacker go to jail, a Shutesbury man was given six months of probation Friday for a 2018 assault.

Edgar W. Dorman, 78, was found guilty last month on four counts — assault and battery, a civil rights violation (right to housing), threatening to commit a crime and criminal harassment — following an incident on Aug. 14, 2018, in which he broke his neighbor’s nose.

On Friday in Orange District Court, Judge David S. Ross sentenced Dorman to several six-month probation sentences, ordered Dorman stay away from the victim and imposed more than $1,000 in fines.

Both Dorman and the neighbor, Rolf Cachat-Schilling, 57, acknowledge the fight happened, but offer different details about the event.

According to Cachat-Schilling, Dorman was a nasty neighbor who caused him and his family to live in fear on Leverett Road in Shutesbury and eventually move after the assault. Cachat-Schilling, a gay Native American medicine elder, said Dorman repeatedly used derogatory words referring to his race and sexual orientation.

Cachat-Schilling claims he was preparing for the third day of a sacred ceremony to honor the dead when Dorman came over, destroyed part of his medicinal garden and attacked him. Cachat-Schilling also said he is out of work because of Dorman’s attack, having hurt his wrist in the fight rendering him unable to do his job as a Chinese language translator.

“We try to make friends with all our neighbors,” Cachat-Schilling began in his victim’s impact statement Friday, during which he asked Ross to give Dorman at least a year in jail.

Cachat-Schilling also said Dorman threatened to shoot him, and caused immense stress for his family. Cachat-Schilling said he felt like he was “in jail” living near Dorman and was afraid to go out.

“He should sit in jail for at least a year and experience what he did to us,” Cachat-Schilling said.

But Dorman’s story is vastly different, and he claims Cachat-Schilling provoked the attack, grabbing him around the neck and throwing him to the ground while he was mowing the lawn. In fact, Cachat-Schilling is also expected to go to trial in December for attacking Dorman, with both neighbors having pressed charges against each other.

“Mr. Cachat-Schilling is a defendant in a felony assault against a 78-year-old man. He does not stand here with clean hands,” said Nora Allard, Dorman’s attorney.

Despite calling his conviction “serious,” Ross said Dorman has a practically clean background, has served the community and is a veteran, and poses no immediate risk to the others involved in the case. Cachat-Schilling left the courtroom in the midst of Ross reading Dorman’s sentence, just after Ross said Dorman would serve six months of probation.

Reach David McLellan at or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.

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