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Peter D'Attilio court case postponed by prosecution until Feb. 9

Delaying tactic suspected

POSTED: Jan 24, 2012

Pro-life activist Peter D'Attilio's day in court was postponed until February 9, as the prosecution told the judge at the Dec. 7 preliminary hearing date it couldn't present its case properly at that time.

On August 11, pro-life activist Peter D'Attilio was arrested and beaten by police while handing out pro-life pamphlets at a public Catholic fair in Franklin, Massachusetts. The police then charged D'Attilio with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, which he vehemently denies.

See full MassResistance report on Peter D'Attilio August 11 arrest & beating HERE!

RIGHT: Peter D'Attilio after suffering beating by Franklin police.

This has become a nationally publicized case illustrating police harassment and brutality against peaceful pro-life activists. D'Attilio was also absurdly accused by police of conspiring to plant bombs at the event, and they ransacked his truck with bomb-sniffing dogs while he was being held inside the police station. He faces 2½ years in jail and hundreds of dollars in fines from the false charges filed against him.

D'Attilio is a staunch pro-life activist and religious Catholic who ironically is known for pacifism and never responding to provocation. He has no history of violence of any kind. But he was also accused by the Franklin police of assaulting the police officers, in addition to resisting arrest. The statements, accusations, and charges against him by the police are "full of lies," D'Attilio says.

His organization: "Defenders of Women," consisting of himself with occasional helpers, also has a web site presence and a Defenders of Women Facebook page. He has also been featured in

Brief initial court appearance on Sept. 20

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, D'Attilio appeared in Wrentham District Court with his lawyer, Stephen Foley, for the pre-trial conference. It lasted less than 10 minutes. The judge set Dec. 7 for the preliminary hearing. At the time the prosecutor indicated he was prepared to move forward for a trial. Attorney Foley said that he would move for dismissal of all charges.

On Dec. 7, instead of trial - another two-month delay

On Dec. 7 when D'Attilio and his lawyer appeared in court, the prosecutor was expected to attempt to move forward. But instead he asked for another delay. He said that the police witness he needed was not available that day (even though he had over two months to prepare). So the judge re-set the preliminary hearing for February 9.

Peter D'Attilio (left) and his attorney Stephen Foley talk in Wrentham District Courthouse on Dec. 7 after leaving courtroom.

The legal expert we discussed this with said that is probably because the prosecution realizes it has a very weak case and hopes to wear down the defendant by dragging this as long as possible. It's become clear that the Franklin police did not expect Peter D'Attilio to have a skilled, determined defense attorney who is taking this case to the mat.

There is no "upside' for the town of Franklin at this point. The police were clearly in the wrong, and it's going to be extremely difficult to win this unless, as is suspected, they're willing to lie about the facts in court. The police are likely used to beating people up who are unsophisticated and willing to plea bargain and pay a fine on trumped-up charges rather than stand up and challenge them. D'Attilio does not fit that mold.

Next court date: February 9

We will be there with Peter on Feb. 9 to report what happens next.