Sapareto Gets Deferred Jail Term in Assault Conviction

A veteran Republican state representative from Derry has been sentenced to a 30-day deferred jail term and ordered to undergo an evaluation for an anger management course after being convicted by a jury on an appeal of one of three simple assault charges stemming from an incident April 11, 2012.

State Rep. Frank Sapareto, R-Derry, 53, received his sentence Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Rockingham Superior Court, Brentwood, after a jury trial Oct. 10.
Sapareto had been convicted of three simple assault charges in Derry District Court this past March. The charges were based on an incident at his former girlfriend Barbara Battite’s home, in which he allegedly pushed Battite’s son and daughter.
He was appealing the charge of pushing Battite’s daughter when she tried to intervene in a dispute between him and Battite’s adult son. In the March 2013 trial in Derry District Court, Judge Robert Stephen had fined Sapareto $500, given him a 30-day suspended sentence, and ordered him to attend anger management counseling.
He appealed this charge to Rockingham Superior Court in Brentwood.
The sentence was given by Judge Marguerite Wageling.
The two charges of simple assault by Sapareto against Battite’s son were reduced to “mutual combat violations” and are still pending, according to Sapareto’s attorney, Anthony DiFruscia. These have been appealed to the state Supreme Court, DiFruscia said.
According to testimony, Sapareto was eating dinner with Battite and his teenage son on April 11 when an altercation occurred. Sapareto allegedly pushed Anthony Battite during the argument, and also pushed his sister Marina when she tried to intervene.
DiFruscia said in a phone call following the sentencing that the incident has been blown out of proportion. First, he said, his client did not push Marina Battite, but “took her out of the line of danger” between him and Anthony Battite. “These are two 200-pound men and she weighs 100 pounds,” he said. “Frank took her hands gently to move her out of the way.”
DiFruscia said more light could be shed on the altercation with Anthony Battite if the court had had the 9-1-1 tape of Anthony calling Derry police. But the tape has disappeared, he said. Officer Adam Petkus, who responded to the call, said in his report he had made a copy of the tape.
“Where is the 9-1-1 tape?” DiFruscia asked. “Nobody knew. On the day of the trial we learned it had been recorded over. It was crucial evidence.”
The other two sentences have been appealed to the state Supreme Court, with Tony Soltani of Epsom handling the appeals, DiFruscia said.
The “mutual combat violation” means two people were involved, and DiFruscia said, “I don’t see why the Derry police didn’t also charge Anthony Battite. Among other things, he said, Battite threatened to shoot Sapareto if he had a gun.
DiFruscia maintains that Sapareto’s motive in all of this was to protect Battite from her angry children. “Frank was thinking with his heart, not his head,” he said.
“Frank is obviously disappointed at the result,” DiFruscia said. “The Derry Police Department had a duty to protect both parties.” 
Capt. Vern Thomas, spokesperson for Derry Police, said the department had no comment.
Sapareto is free on $1,500 personal recognizance bail.

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