Adams woman on trial for allegedly not acting on child's report of sexual assault

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PITTSFIELD — An Adams woman did "absolutely nothing" when a young girl disclosed to her that she was being sexually abused, a prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday.

Assistant Berkshire Attorney Rachael Eramo made that allegation on Tuesday during opening arguments in the trial of Heather Shurtleff, 39.

Eramo said the abuses against the child occurred between 2011 and 2013, beginning when the girl was 13. The girl told Eramo about the abuse between March and November 2013.

Thomas Donohue, Shurtleff's attorney, said in a brief opening statement that he would present "radically different," testimony from the state's witnesses and asked jurors to keep an open mind until all of the testimony is in.

Eramo also alleged Shurtleff confronted the girl in May 2014 and told her to stop pursuing the criminal case against her abuser.

That abuser was convicted of rape and assault charges last year and sentenced to up to 12 years in prison.

Shurtleff faces one count each of reckless endangerment of a child and intimidation of a witness.

The Berkshire Superior Court trial is expected to continue through the week.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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