PITTSFIELD -- A city man is being held on $1,000 cash bail after denying charges that he punched a woman after she caught him in the arms of a house guest.

Anthony Sebastino, 59, punched a 54-year-old woman in the jaw during a heated argument after the woman woke up early Tuesday, walked into the living room and found Sebastino being "intimate" with a 53-year-old woman who had been staying at their house, according to the Pittsfield Police.

Sebastino denied that there was a physical altercation.

He pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to a charge of misdemeanor assault and battery on a family or household member.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Dana Parsons said the defendant had an extensive record and had served about 25 years of incarceration. Among his convictions were charges of kidnapping and lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 14 out of California as well as failure to register as a sex offender and robbery, she said.

Sebastino's attorney, Jerrold F. Trahey, conceded his client had a long record but pointed out that many of the charges were from the 1980s. He said the facts of the present case weren't that bad and that the woman hadn't initially even reported what happened to police. He pointed out she admitted pushing Sebastino.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg set bail at $1,000 cash or $10,000 surety bail and ordered that if he makes bail Sebastino is to have no contact with the complaining witness.

He is due back in court for a pretrial hearing Sept.


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