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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Massachusetts man to spend at least 31⁄2 years in prison for sexually assaulting Hudson teen

NASHUA – A Massachusetts man charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a Hudson teenager and then stalking her on social media will plead guilty and spend at least 31⁄2 years in prison, according to court records.

Edmund Mallett, 48, of 49 Level Lane in Tewksbury, Mass., was indicted in March on several sexual assault charges involving a girl younger than 16. In April, Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Catherine Devine filed more than 40 stalking and breach of bail conditions over messages Mallett posted using Twitter that Devine said were clearly attempts to communicate with the young victim. ...

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NASHUA – A Massachusetts man charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a Hudson teenager and then stalking her on social media will plead guilty and spend at least 31⁄2 years in prison, according to court records.

Edmund Mallett, 48, of 49 Level Lane in Tewksbury, Mass., was indicted in March on several sexual assault charges involving a girl younger than 16. In April, Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Catherine Devine filed more than 40 stalking and breach of bail conditions over messages Mallett posted using Twitter that Devine said were clearly attempts to communicate with the young victim.

Earlier this month, Mallett filed paperwork at Hillsborough County Superior Court indicating he will plead guilty to dozens of the charges as part of a plea deal that will send him to prison for 31⁄2 to eight years. Another 31⁄2- to seven-year sentence will be suspended for 10 years once he is released, and he will have to complete the prison’s sex offender treatment program, according to court documents.

Mallett has been in jail since a judge revoked his bail in April after the posts on Twitter, so he will likely have some amount of pre-trial confinement credit to offset a portion of his sentence.

At a hearing in April, Mallett’s defense attorney, Adam Bernstein, argued that the Twitter messages were not a violation of his bail because they were not communicated directly to the victim. The messages were different than an email or phone call, Bernstein said, because the victim had to seek out Mallett’s online account to see them.

“It’s clearly not direct communication,” Bernstein said. “These are messages on his account that were accessed by others. The message was not communicated. (The victim) accessed his account. He has a First Amendment right to post whatever he wants.”

Devine said the messages were posted in a public space and were the equivalent of Mallett standing in the victim’s neighborhood and yelling to her.

Mallett was indicted in March on charges of pattern aggravated felonious sexual assault, two counts of attempted felonious sexual assault and a single count each of felonious sexual assault. He is charged with sexually assaulting the victim, now 16, from 2010-13 in Hudson, according to the indictments.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).