, Salem, MA

December 23, 2013

Man gets jail time; rape charge dropped

By Marjorie Nesin
Staff Writer

---- — GLOUCESTER — A 33-year-old Gloucester man who had faced charges that including rape, breaking and entering at nighttime for a felony, and resisting arrest, all stemming from an incident in April has been sentenced to 21/2 years in Middleton Jail, with one year to be served immediately and the balance suspended until June 2016.

But the initial charges of aggravated rape and rape were both dropped at the request of the commonwealth and dismissed in Gloucester District Court.

According to court reports, Chris A. Spanks, of Addison Street, pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, the breaking and entering charge, violating an abuse prevention order, threatening to commit a crime, and a charge of assault and battery, all leading to the jail term.

Judge Joseph Jennings, presiding over the case, credited 38 days to Spanks’ one year term to be served, counting days served when Spanks was awaiting judgment. The judge, however, also dismissed an additional count of violating the restraining order in another instance not related to the specific break-in allegations.

Spanks was arrested April 9 after speaking with Gloucester Police regarding the incident.

According to court documents, Spanks climbed through an open window in the room of a woman who had a restraining order against him.

She alleged that he then raped her, while he and his defense attorney had said sexual activity was consensual. Days later, when Spanks was still at the home, police said, he also used his fingers to apply pressure on the woman’s pre-existing rotator cuff injury and threatened to “slit her throat.”

Spanks was initially held without bail for a dangerousness hearing and had been arrested on breaking and entering and domestic assault charges in the past.

In 2009, Spanks was arrested on charges of larceny, malicious destruction and breaking, and entering his estranged wife’s home. He was also arrested in 2008 on charges of domestic assault and battery and intimidating a witness, but those charges were later dismissed in Gloucester District Court after a failure to prosecute.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-675-2710, or via email at