PITTSFIELD -- A city man pleaded not guilty on Friday to indecent assault and battery on a female acquaintance that he initially had been accused of raping.

Michael W. Crippa, 43, of Dalton Avenue, was arrested May 29 after the woman told police she woke up to find him sexually assaulting her. Crippa allegedly admitted being at the woman's house, but he denied touching her.

He was initially charged with rape, but prosecutors ended up bringing lesser charges, for which Crippa was indicted by the grand jury.

Jill Sheldon, Crippa's attorney, said there were inconsistent statements made by the complaining witness in the case.

Crippa pleaded not guilty on Friday in Berkshire Superior Court to two counts of indecent assault and battery. He remains free on $7,500 cash bail.

The case is being handled by special prosecutor Matthew Green, an assistant Hampden district attorney. There was a conflict in the case involving the Berkshire DA's Office because the defendant's father is a former Pittsfield Police officer.

Crippa is scheduled to be back in court for a pretrial hearing on Dec. 11.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
aamelinckx@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx


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