Trial begins for Adams man accused in 2012 rape of Pittsfield woman
PITTSFIELD — Jury selection is underway in the trial of an Adams man accused of breaking into a home and raping a 20-year-old Pittsfield woman while her small child slept in the same room in March 2012.
Jeffrey Vigiard is accused of committing the assault a few hours after being released from a New York jail after serving time on a larceny charge.
Prosecutors said Vigiard, who was 39 at the time, was linked to the crime after his DNA profile was matched through a data bank to evidence found at the scene.
Vigiard fled Massachusetts after the alleged attack and was arrested in San Francisco in July 2012 and returned to Berkshire County to face charges while being held on $1 million bail.
The case was tentatively scheduled to go to trial in September 2013.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Robert W. Kinzer III said a change in Vigiard's attorney and defense appeals of court decisions pushed back the original start date.
Vigiard filed several motions seeking to have DNA testing performed on items that were not originally subjected to DNA testing.
Vigiard's most recent appeal was denied in July.
Nine jurors were selected from Monday's pool of 55. Kinzer said the selection process will continue Tuesday and opening statements are expected to be delivered Wednesday in Berkshire Superior Court before Judge John Agostini.
Fourteen jurors will be selected; 12 who will ultimately deliberate the case and two alternates.
Vigiard has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated rape, witness intimidation, burglary, assault on an occupant, and nighttime felony breaking and entering.
Once underway, the trial is expected to last about two weeks, Kinzer said.
If convicted, Vigiard faces up to life in prison.
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