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New Ipswich man facing assault charges

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Michael Kane, the New Ipswich resident charged with threatning town officials and family members, enters Superior Court in Nashua Tuesday for his bail hearing. He was granted release on personal recognizance bail with several conditions.

NASHUA – Apparently satisfied with the progress New Ipswich resident Michael Kane Sr. has made in treatment programs while confined at the State Hospital, a Superior Court judge on Tuesday granted Kane personal recognizance bail – with a number of conditions attached.

Kane, 51, faces two felony and seven misdemeanor charges stemming from allegations he assaulted one adult family member on numerous occasions and another on two occasions. He was arrested in September 2018.

The two Class B felonies charge him with committing domestic violence-related second-degree assault and criminal restraint on April 1, 2016.

As for the Class A misdemeanors, six are on the charge of simple assault – domestic violence and one accuses him of criminal threatening.

Four of them stem from alleged events on Aug. 23, 2018, while the other three took place from January to May 2018, according to court documents.

All but two of the charges involve the same family member, whom Kane allegedly strangled, restrained, head-butted, slapped, kicked, spat upon, and pushed down the stairs. The remaining two accuse him of twice slapping the other family member in the face.

Kane was indicted on all the charges in December, and Judge Jacalyn Colburn granted a prosecutor’s recommendation to jail him on preventive detention.

About a month later, in January, Colburn granted a defense motion for a competency hearing for Kane. After two hearings, Colburn in mid-February ruled him incompetent to stand trial.

Kane was eventually committed to the State Hospital, where, according to his attorney, Michael Davidow, he made significant progress in restoring his mental health.

“Mr. Kane was participating in treatment … he was compliant” with hospital officials, Davidow said during Tuesday’s hearing, over which Judge Charles Temple presided.

“He was doing what they wanted him to do, which is notable in Mr. Kane’s case,” Davidow added.

While it doesn’t appear Kane was charged with any offenses involving town officials, he was certainly well-known to them for the protracted battle he waged against them during many months.

That battle included filing suit, then, when a U.S. District Court judge granted the town’s motion to dismiss the suit, responding with a 57-page amended complaint teeming with allegations town officials violated his civil rights and retaliated against him by allegedly “failing to adequately answer his questions about his property taxes” or respond to his claims that being forced to pay property taxes violated his rights, according to a 2017 judge’s order.

Central to Kane’s dispute with the town, according to the order and other documents, was his insistence his property, at 29 Wheeler Road, was a “household utensil,” and therefore exempt from taxation.

In addition to the town, Kane named as defendants in his suit eight people, including current and former selectmen, the town administrator and the town clerk and tax collector.

According to court files and news reports at the time, Kane initially sought $40 million in damages from the town, $10 million from the town clerk/tax collector, and $1 million from each of the other defendants.

At Tuesday’s hearing, meanwhile, Assistant County Attorney Brian Greklek-McKeon, although acknowledging that Kane’s “mood has improved” during the course of his hospital stay, nevertheless recommended he be held on preventive detention.

“It’s also clear that the delusions he had remain intact,” Greklek-McKeon told the court, suggesting that Kane insists the town’s demand he pays his taxes “is part of a conspiracy by the town of New Ipswich.”

Kane “is a religious man … he likens himself to God. He feels he can discipline his children any way he wants,” Greklek-McKeon continued, reiterating his concerns that Kane “may seek (family members) out if he is released.”

Temple, in granting personal recognizance bail “based on (Kane’s) conditional discharge” from the State Hospital, ordered Kane to remain on good behavior, make all of his court dates, have no contact with New Ipswich town officials or the family members he allegedly assaulted, and continue his treatment.

Temple did grant Kane’s request that he be allowed to see his youngest child, but only with written consent of the state Division of Children, Youth and Families.

He also ordered periodic bail review hearings for Kane, the first of which is scheduled for Sept. 10.

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com, at or @Telegraph_DeanS.