, Salem, MA

July 31, 2013

Ex-clown receives plea deal

Danvers man charged with indecent assault

By Dave Rogers
Staff Writer

---- — DANVERS — James Vosolo, the Danvers man who lost his job as a child entertainer after being accused of sexually accosting a truck driver inside a Rowley rest stop off Interstate 95 while wearing only a thong last September, avoided jail time last week after reaching a plea deal with Essex County prosecutors.

By admitting to sufficient facts Friday at Newburyport District Court, Vosolo’s indecent assault and battery of a person 14 or older and other charges were continued without finding for three years. Should Vosolo, who now works as a limousine driver, stay out of trouble and adhere to conditions imposed by Judge Richard Mori, the charges against him will be dropped and his record cleared.

Among the conditions imposed by the court is to continue sex offender counseling, continue substance abuse counseling, wear a GPS tracking device, pay a monthly GPS fee and conduct no solicitations at rest stops.

Had Vosolo, 47, been convicted of the most serious felony, indecent assault and battery of a person over 14, he could have been sentenced to up to five years in state prison. He would also be subject to lifetime probation and would have to register as a sex offender.

Essex County prosecutor Maura Bailey had originally asked for Vosolo to plead guilty to indecent assault and battery of a person over 14 with a sentence of two years’ probation, according to court records.

According to state police, Vosolo surprised the truck driver, hopping onto the fuel tank of his truck and peering into his cab. The truck driver then exited the cab to confront Vosolo, who then grabbed his genitals on two different occasions. During the encounter, Vosolo asked the victim several times if he could enter his truck so they could have sex. A state police official said the truck driver called police after feigning interest and suggesting they meet up at the Seabrook rest stop.

Trooper Michael Caranfa responded to the call and attempted to pull Vosolo over. Vosolo proceeded to throw items, which he later told police were “a glass pipe and a little bit of crack” cocaine, out of his white Chevrolet Caprice, hitting Caranfa’s windshield before stopping alongside the highway in Salisbury.

Vosolo was wearing only thong underwear when he was ordered out of his car at gunpoint. A search of Vosolo’s vehicle resulted in the seizure of several sex toys, Halloween masks and head lamps, according to state police. At the Newbury barracks, Vosolo indicated several times that he was just trying to satisfy a sexual fantasy.

Court records also show that many members of Vosolo’s family, including his daughter, sister and mother, drafted letters asking the judge for leniency. Vosolo himself wrote multiple letters explaining how the charges and the media firestorm that followed negatively altered his life. He went on to describe his recent attempts, including attending counseling, to change his life around after hitting rock bottom.

Vosolo, who had worked at Total Entertainment of Danvers for 15 years, was facing charges of indecent exposure, assault and battery, failure to stop for police, marked lanes and disorderly conduct. In September, he was additionally charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and indecent assault and battery of a person over 14, after state police obtained information that Vosolo grabbed the victim’s genitals twice. Prosecutors believed Vosolo was acting out a sexual fantasy and may have been under the influence of crack cocaine at the time of the incident.

A lewdness charge was continued without finding for three years, as was a disorderly conduct charge. An assault and battery charge was dismissed, while Vosolo pleaded responsible to a marked lanes charge and failure to stop for police.

According to state police, Vosolo has no previous convictions. But in 1988, he admitted to sufficient facts that he had been driving drunk.