In the LaGuer flap (see earlier post today), the Sentinel & Enterprise of Fitchburg and Leominster got Patrick spokesman Richard Chacon to elaborate on the candidate’s comments regarding the LaGuer case.
Patrick facing scrutiny for ’84 rape case comments
By James Downing
Sentinel & Enterprise
LEOMINSTER — Democratic candidate for governor, Deval Patrick, has come under fire for comments he made years ago about the case of a Leominster man convicted of raping an elderly woman.
Benjamin LaGuer was convicted of aggravated rape in 1984 and sentenced to life in prison.
He has been appealing his conviction ever since and is now waiting for a hearing with the Supreme Judicial Court in Boston, according to the court’s Web site.
Patrick is quoted on a Web site supporting LaGuer’s call for a new trial.
“I therefore have serious misgivings about the integrity of the criminal justice system in this case, as I believe any citizen would,” he said.
Patrick’s spokesman, Richard Chacon, said the candidate no longer follows the case closely.
“At one point many years ago, Deval Patrick and others thought there were issues that needed to be reviewed in this case,” Chacon said in a statement. “This is a serious crime that raises serious issues. Asking the authorities to take them seriously is always the right thing to do.”
Patrick made the comments while working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, according to Chacon.
Chacon said Patrick has not worked on the case.
Spokesmen for Patrick’s democratic opponents, Chris Gabrieli and Tom Reilly, declined to comment Tuesday.
A relative of the victim also declined to comment.
Interestingly, and probably fittingly, the other candidates stayed mum.
For more information go to my post from earlier today.