Defendants not guilty of attack on woman on street


PITTSFIELD -- Two defendants who police said beat a woman on a city street in front of the woman's small child were found not guilty of all charges following a one day Jury of Six trial in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday.

Lawyers for Bryan T. Rahilly and Shayna J. Schafer successfully argued at trial that the woman was the initial aggressor and that their clients were defending themselves.

Rahilly, 25, of Lyman Street and 29-year-old Schafer of Pleasant Street were facing felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and misdemeanor assault and battery charges.

According to police and prosecutors, the pair attacked Amanda Sprouse, 26, on May 11 while Sprouse was out walking on Maplewood Avenue near North Pearl Street with her 1-year-old and her mother.

Defense lawyers Joshua C. Hochberg, representing Rahilly, and Jessica Byrne, for Schafer, said it was Schafer who was the victim of an unprovoked attack by Sprouse and that Rahilly came to Schafer's aid.

The lawyers also said that Sprouse gave several different accounts of the events.

Schafer was additionally charged with violating a harassment prevention order for allegedly banging on the apartment door of Brandy Sprouse, Amanda's sister, and bragging about the beating. The sister had a harassment prevention order against Schafer.

The jury took less than an hour to come back with the not guilty verdicts.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:,
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