Commonwealth v. Vieira, No. SJC-12696 (Mass. 2019)
Nature of Case: Appellee was charged with a Massachusetts state offense of, inter alia, assault and battery on a child under the age of fourteen where the element of the offense alleged was that consent was vitiated due to age of the victim. State Appellant sought mandatory pre-trial detention of Appellee on the grounds of dangerousness, and the trial court denied Appellant’s request. Appellant sought review.
Holding: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed. The threshold question as to whether or not a criminal defendant can be detained without bail prior to trial is whether they are alleged to have committed any of the delineated offenses in the bail statute. Here, Appellee was not charged with any of those offenses. Furthermore, he was not charged with a crime which required use of force.