Billerica Man Found Guilty Of Sexual Assaults In Tewksbury, Lowell
Dec 09, 2017 05:00AM
By Bill Gilman
LOWELL – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, Lowell Police Superintendent William Taylor and Tewksbury Chief of Police Timothy Sheehan have announced that Robert Gardner, 41, of Billerica, was found guilty by a Lowell Superior Court jury yesterda of aggravated rape, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, two counts of assault and battery of a household or family member, stalking, witness intimidation and violating a restraining order in connection with four assaults that took place in Lowell and Tewksbury from 2011-2015 and phone calls made by the defendant to the victim in 2017.
Judge Robert Ullman scheduled sentencing for December 18.
“The defendant in this case demonstrated the all too common pattern of subjecting the victim to escalating verbal, emotional and sexual abuse over several years. Domestic violence is, at its core, about the type of power and control that this defendant was exercising,” said District Attorney Ryan. “Domestic violence is a major public safety and public health issue impacting one out of three women in their lifetime. It is critical that we continue to be committed to assisting victims of domestic violence through providing access to resources and guiding them through the criminal justice system as appropriate.”
Tewksbury Chief of Police Sheehan added, “The Tewksbury Police Department would like to thank all of the agencies involved in this multi-jurisdictional effort to locate Gardner and bring him to justice. This was an excellent example of agencies collaborating to ensure a violent fugitive is held accountable for his actions and highlights the Tewksbury Police Department’s commitment to protect victims of domestic violence. Domestic disturbance calls-for-service are some of the most dangerous calls police officers respond to nationally.”
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on June 3, 2015, Lowell Police responded to a report of a domestic assault at Bridge Street and Fourth Street in Lowell. Officers found the victim, who is known to the defendant, with a large bump on the right side of her head after having been struck by the defendant with an unknown object. The victim was transported to area hospital and was treated for a concussion and a skull fracture which caused bleeding into the brain. She had to undergo life-saving emergency cranial surgery. An arrest warrant was issued for the defendant who could not be located.
At 2:00 a.m. on July 25, 2015 Tewksbury Police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance in progress at Motel 6 in Tewksbury. Police found the same victim with visible injuries covering her face and body. The victim stated that the defendant had held her against her will and physically and sexually assaulted her in the motel room. The defendant then fled. Warrants were issued for the defendant’s arrest. Both Lowell and Tewksbury Police worked in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Police and the Middlesex Sherriff’s department and began a manhunt for the defendant.
During that time an investigation began into the circumstances of the relationship between the parties and it was determined that there had been prior assaults in 2011 where the defendant broke the victim’s back by striking her with a chair and in 2014 where the defendant broke the victim’s nose. It was also determined that the defendant violated one of the restraining orders the victim had obtained against him.
The Massachusetts State Police, New Jersey State Police, New York State Police and the U.S. Marshals collaborated in returning the defendant to Massachusetts from New Jersey on September 9, 2015.
He was then arraigned in Lowell District Court where he was ordered held without bail. While incarcerated, the defendant repeatedly communicated with the victim in the effort to get her to not testify against him.
The prosecutors assigned to this case were Assistant District Attorneys Suzanne Kontz and Caitlin Gemmill. The Victim Witness Advocate was Dora Quiroz.