The Lowell Sun reported that a Middleton man, Haralambos Katsikis, pleaded not guilty in a Lowell courtroom to nine counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over fourteen years old. The complaining witnesses are five former waitresses or hostesses at Stelio’s restaurant. The former employees claim that Katsikis made “sexualized-comments” and unwanted advances which ultimately led to their termination by firing or quitting.
In Massachusetts, indecent assault and battery is a felony. If a defendant is convicted for this offense he or she faces up to five years in state prison or two and one half years in jail. In order to secure a conviction for indecent assault and battery the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed an act that was fundamentally offensive to “contemporary moral values.” Conduct that is indecent may consist of an unpermitted touching that society would regard as immodest and improper because of its sexual overtones, such as a touching of the breasts or genitalia. This offense requires the government to prove that the defendant possessed the specific intent to engage in the conduct.
If you have been charged with this type of offense it is imperative that you have an experienced Massachusetts defense attorney on your side. Ensuring that the correct jury instructions are requested, such as the necessity to charge on specific intent, can make the difference between a guilty verdict and a not guilty verdict. Furthermore, depending on the circumstances, convictions of this type can have collateral consequences of having to register as a sex offender.