Probation for North Adams woman who watched kids get beaten, didn't report


PITTSFIELD — A North Adams woman who failed to report ongoing abuse to two children under her care has been sentenced to two years of probation.

Jessica Lescarbeau, 36, admitted in Berkshire Superior Court on Friday that she witnessed the children get beatings with items like belts and wooden spatula, but did not report it to authorities. She also warned one of the children not to tell anyone else.

The man behind the beatings, Duane Griffiths, was sentenced in March to two years in jail after being convicted on charges of assault and battery and reckless endangerment. Lescarbeau and the two children testified at Griffith's trial.

Lescarbeau had been charged with assault and battery, intimidation of a witness and reckless endangerment; those charges were continued without a finding for two years by Judge Mark Mason. Provided she adheres to her probation conditions, including continuing with counseling, and stays out of further legal trouble, those charges will be dismissed.

Mason said several mitigating factors in Lescarbeau's case warranted the continuation, including that she also was a victim of abuse. The judge noted her lack of criminal record, the letters of support submitted to the court on her behalf, and her compliance with the Department of Children and Families while the case proceeded.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Megan Tesoniero had asked Mason to find Lescarbeau guilty on the two reckless endangerment counts, rather than continue them.

Lescarbeau's attorney, Elizabeth Quigley, sought a continuance on all counts.

"She's completely remorseful and devastated by what she did," Quigley said.

Bob Dunn can be reached at, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.



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