NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) - A prisoner, already facing burglary charges, is now charged with assault and battery after he attacked a suspected child molester during a hearing inside New Bedford District Court.
William E. Reed, 43, of New Bedford was in court Thursday to face burglary charges when he punched John Messieri, 24, in the face, said Gregg Miliote, spokesman for the Bristol County District Attorney's Office.
Messieri is accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's 7-year-old daughter in Fairhaven. He was hearing the charges against him when the assault happened.
Court officers then jumped in to separate the prisoners, Miliote said.
The judge revoked Reed's bail from a prior burglary case. He will spend the next 60 days in prison. After that, Reed will held on $5,000 for the assault charge.
As for Messieri, Fairhaven police arrested him last week, after the mother of his alleged victim told investigators she saw her boyfriend molesting her daughter.
She told police she asked Messieri to tuck the girl into bed and then walked in during the alleged act.
The child then told investigators Messieri had touched her inappropriately on several occasions, even though she said no.
The judge ordered Messieri held on $50,000 and revoked bail from a previous charge of driving with a suspended license, Miliote confirmed.
He's due back in court Sept. 1. ..Source.. by Nancy Krause