BOXFORD — A Maine health care executive who was spared from serving jail time for a violent domestic abuse incident at a Boxford home in 2015 asked a judge on Tuesday to shave nearly a year off his probation.

His lawyer said that Richard McCarthy "has turned his life around." But after hearing opposition both from the prosecutor in the case and McCarthy's victim, Judge Salim Tabit denied the request, saying the remaining nine months of probation left on McCarthy's sentence will mean "nine more months of sobriety and clean living" that will benefit McCarthy. 

McCarthy, 49, of Scarborough, Maine, pleaded guilty under a plea agreement in 2017 to charges of assault and battery, strangulation or suffocation, witness intimidation and larceny and was sentenced by Judge Kenneth Salinger to three years probation. Under the terms of the agreement, prosecutors dropped two counts of rape against McCarthy. 

The incident occurred on June 7, 2015, at the home of a woman McCarthy was dating at the time, after she confronted him about messages on his phone. 

The plea agreement came in November 2017, shortly before the case would have gone to trial. 

Daniel Gaudet, an associate of McCarthy's lawyer, J.W. Carney, said McCarthy had completed most of the classes in a domestic abuse prevention program, as well as an additional course online, while being supervised by a probation officer in Maine. He has also been compliant with conditions that he not drink or use drugs. 

Gaudet said McCarthy "totally recognizes and appreciates the harm" he caused as a result of the incident. 

In a motion filed with the court, McCarthy's attorneys suggested that his client has "moved on" with his life, remarrying a woman who has a child and coaching that child's sports teams in Maine; they also say McCarthy and his current wife, whom he married in 2018, have sponsored a New York boy through the Fresh Air Fund who stays with them during the summer. 

McCarthy has also started a new job as chief financial officer of DLTC Healthcare, a chain of assisted living facilities in Maine. 

Prosecutor Michael Sheehan, meanwhile, opposed the request, submitting a letter from the victim, who was present at the hearing and who opposed letting McCarthy off probation early. 

"In my view, what's fair is fair," said Sheehan. "I don't prosecute a lot of people who end up getting (only) probation." He said the deal was accepted by the victim in the case. 

Sheehan also said recovery from substance abuse "is not always a straight path," and that the remaining months on probation would benefit McCarthy. 

Tabit called the request "a bit unique." 

"This was agreed to and everyone understood going in that this is what the sentence would be," said Tabit, noting that McCarthy didn't serve any time in jail, and is not subject to particularly "onerous" conditions such as an ankle bracelet that limits his ability to work. 

"It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me to cut it short at this point," said Tabit. 

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis. 

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