After three years of trials and tribulations in the court system Councilor Jason Marcus was acquitted of charges that he groped an Everett salon owner after receiving a haircut in the days following Thanksgiving 2008.
The acquittal came last week after a three-day trial in Malden District Court.
Thus ended a series of events that dramatically altered Marcus’ reputation and led to his retirement from the Board of Alderman. Marcus has since been elected a councilor.
For Marcus, the acquittal was like a breath of new life.
During the three-year ordeal, he suffered serious mental stress and pain.
“I am grateful,” said Marcus of the acquittal. “Justice was done in court. I am an innocent man and always have been. I’m just glad this is over and that I can get back to my life again.
“Everyone who knows me and what I am about knows I didn’t assault anyone. Thank God I had great friends who believed in me, who remained by my side throughout this ordeal – and it was an ordeal,” Marcus added.
“I wouldn’t wish what I’ve been through on anyone,” he said.
Three years ago, a witness who claimed that he saw Marcus assault a woman who had just cut his hair, set off the whole affair.
Longer than a year passed and Marcus was not charged until 2009.
During that year before he was charged Marcus was the subject of a scurrilous hate campaign. He was the subject of discrepant Internet chatter and somehow, confidential documents about the case were released for public consumption and scrutiny.
What was bad became worse for Marcus, who found it hard to cope with the allegations that had been lodged against him.
Ultimately, he was charged with indecent assault and battery.
“Once Mr. Marcus was charged and those papers leaked, it seemed people talked and made up their minds,” said Peter Bellotti, an attorney with the Bellotti Group. According to Bellotti, Marcus was being unfairly tried in the court of public opinion.
“Sometimes, when a man is charged with doing something like this to a woman, assumptions are made about him that go way beyond the charge or facts of the case. We needed to overcome those assumptions and beat the charge and we did,” Bellotti said.
Marcus said that the accusation against him nearly ruined his reputation. He said allegations of sexual assault made against him although untrue, were very hurtful and damaging.
He said the acquittal was like a dream come true.
He said he respects the police and even the prosecutors.
“But if someone accuses you of something you didn’t do, you still have to see the matter through in court. I just feel relieved that this case is over and behind me,” Marcus said.