, Salem, MA

March 28, 2013

Man to serve 3-6 years for breaking girlfriend's jaw


---- — BEVERLY — A Beverly man will serve three to six years in state prison after admitting to a pair of violent assaults on his girlfriend last year, including one that left her with a broken jaw.

Andrew Grayson, 27, of 348 Rantoul St. pleaded guilty during a hearing yesterday in Salem Superior Court to charges of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, two counts of assault and battery, and witness intimidation.

Grayson was originally charged last April after the second assault on the young woman, with whom he had been living.

According to court papers, Grayson had been abusive to the woman throughout their relationship, but the violence had escalated.

On April 16, the woman, 26, told police that she and Grayson were at The Pickled Onion, a Beverly bar, when she noticed him sending a text message to another woman. Incensed, she left, hoping to avoid a confrontation.

But at home, an argument ensued, and Grayson struck her in the jaw. The woman later testified at a grand jury proceeding that she knew her jaw was broken because when she tried to close her mouth, her teeth were in the wrong place.

Grayson then drove her to the hospital. The two agreed on a cover story — she would tell doctors that she was struck while trying to break up a fight.

The following day, she went to work and came up with another cover story for co-workers, telling them she fell on the stairs while doing laundry.

Her boss, a dentist, told her that she needed to go back to the hospital and have surgery.

Two days later, while still recovering and with her jaw wired shut, she agreed to see Grayson again, later explaining that she’d been with him a long time and believed that he loved her.

An argument again ensued, however, and he punched her in the eye.

Prosecutor Jessica Strasnick had urged Salem Superior Court Judge David Lowy to impose a five- to seven-year prison term, citing the serious injuries to the young woman.

Grayson’s attorney, Ben Richard, sought a slightly shorter term of three to five years.

Following his prison term, Grayson will be on probation for three years, with conditions that include a batterer’s treatment program, no use of alcohol and random tests to determine whether he is complying with that, and that he maintain full-time employment.