Saturday, July 4, 2009

Anthony L. Austin - Repeat Sex Offender - Charged Again

A convicted sex offender is being held on high bail after pleading not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court to allegations that he had contact with a 13-year-old city resident.

Anthony L. Austin, 35, of Parker Street, was remanded by Judge Fredric D. Rutberg to the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction in lieu of $100,000 cash or $1 million surety without prejudice after Austin pleaded not guilty to indecent aggravated assault and battery on a child under 14 after certain offenses.

According to a report filed by the Pittsfield Police Department, Austin was arrested around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday in response to reports that there was some "inappropriate touching" of a 13-year-old city child by Austin.

Police say Austin, who was acquainted with the child, allegedly called the child and asked the child to meet him at the Family Dollar store on North Street.

Austin told police he and the child hugged in greeting, then went to a park on Winter Street to play basketball. The man admitted that he and the child ultimately ended up at his Parker Street apartment.

There, Austin reportedly began to make sexual comments and advances toward the child and told the child to go up into the attic if the child heard someone coming.

After allegedly being touched, the child told Austin to stop -- and Austin told the police he did stop. Police said Austin also told them it was the first time he ever interfered with the child.

During this encounter police say a family friend of the child went to Austin's apartment. After initially being denied access to the residence, the friend was able to enter the home where the child was found hiding in the attic.

Police say the child was then put in care of the child's father.

Back on Nov. 30, 1999, Austin was convicted in Worcester Superior Court on one count of assault of a child with intent to commit rape; one count of rape and abuse of a child, and five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years of age.

Anthony L. Austin is currently listed as a Level 3 sex offender by the state Sex Offender Registry Board. A Level 3 designation means the board has determined that an individual has a "high risk" to re-offend.

Pittsfield police said Austin did show remorse after his most recent arrest and consented to making a statement to police about the incident on a digital video recording.

During Austin's brief court appearance on Friday, Judge Rutberg ordered Austin to stay away from the victim and to have no unsupervised contact with minors.

Austin is scheduled to be back in district court on July 29 at 9 a.m.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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