Pittsfield man accused of domestic abuse free after dangerousness hearing


PITTSFIELD -- A city man facing domestic abuse charges has been released after being held for four days awaiting a dangerousness hearing.

Paul N. Phillips, 45, was released on Monday after a judge determined while there was evidence he was dangerous, the Berkshire District Attorney's Office hadn't proven there were less severe measures than holding the defendant without bail for 90 days.

Phillips was arrested Aug. 20 after Pittsfield Police responded to a First Street residence for a domestic dispute and learned that Philips allegedly threw a a 40-year-old woman down, tied her up and had sex with her against her will. He was not charged with rape, but is charged with assault and battery on a family or household member.

It was alleged both parties had been drinking before the incident.

On Monday, Phillips appeared in Central Berkshire District Court with his attorney Jill Sheldon.

Sheldon said she spoke with the complaining witness who denied she had been raped and didn't want Phillips to be in jail.

The lawyer said all the woman wanted was for Phillips to get help for his drinking problem.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert Royce told the court that the defendant had a 20-year history of assault and batteries, with the alleged victim in this case being the latest to suffer at the hands of Phillips. He asked the court to hold the defendant for 90 days without bail.

Judge Fredric D. Rutberg released the defendant on condition he stay away and have no contact with the complaining witness, refrain from excessive alcohol consumption and maintain employment, among other conditions.

A pretrial hearing in the case is set for Sept. 25.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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