SALEM — The attorney for a Salem man accused of indecent assault and battery on his landlady Wednesday says the allegation was made in retaliation for a complaint the man made to police a day earlier about her husband.
And, said defense lawyer Steven Reardon, James Taubert, 39, is the second client he’s represented who has been a tenant of the couple and who later found himself facing criminal charges.
“These people are using the system to exact revenge,” Reardon said during Taubert’s arraignment Thursday in Salem District Court on charges of indecent assault and battery and assault and battery. Taubert, of Cleveland Road, Salem, pleaded not guilty.
Police and prosecutors say the woman went to the police station, crying and shaking, shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday and reported that while she was taking out the trash, Taubert grabbed her by the hair, pushed her against the wall and groped her breast, telling her, “I’m in heat. I can do anything I want and you and (the husband) can’t do a (expletive) thing about it.”
The report came just hours after Taubert had gone to police to complain about an alleged threat by the woman’s husband, who told him he could not have certain guests visiting him and that if he saw the men again, he would kill him.
Taubert, who had lived in the apartment since December, was advised by police of his right to obtain a civil harassment order.
The woman prefaced her complaint Wednesday by detailing the terms of the tenancy, before describing the alleged assault, according to a police report.
While Taubert has a prior criminal record, there are no sex offenses on it, Reardon told Judge Robert Brennan.
Brennan, citing that record, set bail at $1,000 cash, an amount Taubert is expected to post. He has been ordered to stay away from the woman while the case is pending.
A pretrial hearing is set for July 9.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.