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‘Catastrophic’ missteps cited in police handling of Dalton rape case

Police officer sitting at a desk texting in front of computer

Sgt. Bustin Buzzella's handling of his role in a rape case investigation is a focus of a recent outside report. 

DALTON — Days before going to trial in the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl, a Berkshires prosecutor was working the phones on a Saturday morning to get her case in order.

Within hours, the trial was off. The Berkshire District Attorney’s office decided that afternoon in November that missteps within the Dalton Police Department, including what it believed to be a failure to track and preserve evidence, left it no choice but to drop charges.

Instead

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Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com and 413-588-8341.

Managing editor for innovation

Larry Parnass joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, CommonWealth Magazine and with the Reuters news service.

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