BARRE — Over the past week alone, police say there have been three incidents of domestic assault in Marshfield, a town with a population of just over 1,500 people.
Meg Kuhner is the co-director of Circle, the nonprofit organization in Washington County that provides support and services to victims and survivors of domestic violence. Kuhner said Wednesday that one of the tactics abusers use to maintain power and control over their victims is isolation. And parts of Marshfield can indeed seem isolated.
“It’s in his best interest to keep her isolated,” she said. “Because then her whole world view is kind of filtered through him. We work with victims a lot of times who live at the end of a long driveway or the end of a dirt road where no one is going to hear them screaming for help.”
Although she said men are also victims of domestic violence, it is predominately a woman’s issue, with women being the victims in 85 to 90 percent of domestic violence cases.
Kuhner said Circle’s hotline regularly logs over 400 calls per month from victims or family members of victims of domestic abuse in Washington County. She said domestic violence is responsible for a little over half of the homicides in the state over the past few years.
Carlos V. Quezada, 35, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Chittenden County criminal court in Burlington to misdemeanor domestic assault and interference with access to emergency services. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 2½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
According to the Vermont State Police affidavit, state police responded to a domestic incident Tuesday on Hollister Hill Road in Marshfield. Police say a woman told them she and Quezada had gotten into an argument over money Quezada was allegedly taking from the woman’s bank account.
The woman told police Quezada agreed to pay her back, but only if he were allowed inside her apartment to get his things. Once inside, police say Quezada pushed the woman up against a door and hit her with a closed fist in the ribs, lower back and hip. The woman told police her 11-year-old son attempted to stop Quezada by hitting and kicking him, which threw Quezada off balance and stopped the attack.
The woman told police Quezada then went to a window, grabbed his backpack, which had the woman’s cellphone inside, and dove head first out the window.
The woman told police she went after Quezada to get her phone back so she could call the police, but Quezada kept grabbing her left arm and bending two of her fingers back as far as he could. Police say the woman eventually got the phone and called 911.
Police say the woman had muddy marks on her left arm and a small red mark on the right side of her back.
When police spoke with Quezada, he acknowledged there was an argument between him and the woman but he claimed it never turned physical and he never put his hands on the woman. He was released on conditions Wednesday.
Quezada has previous convictions of driving under the influence in 2007 and 2004.
Also on Tuesday, Earle S. Rogers Sr., 55, pleaded not guilty in Caledonia County criminal court in St. Johnsbury to one count of felony aggravated domestic assault. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
According to the state police affidavit, state police responded to a reported domestic incident shortly after midnight Tuesday on Route 232 in Marshfield. Police say a woman arrived at Rogers’ home to collect some of her things. The woman told police Rogers became angry because she was taking too long. The woman told police Rogers then came at her and grabbed her by the face.
The woman told police Rogers’ hands then slid down her face and rested on her throat. Rogers then proceeded to choke the woman for around 10 seconds, according to the affidavit. The woman told police she could still breathe during the incident, but her breathing was labored and she said the pain was an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest amount of pain.
The woman told police Rogers could hear what the choking was doing to her voice and shoved her to the ground.
Police say the woman had red marks on the right side of her face and had some vertical scratches running along the right side of her neck, which police say appeared to be from a fingernail.
Rogers was ordered held without bail at Northeast Regional Correctional Facility in St. Johnsbury as he was already on probation for convictions of felony unlawful trespass and petit larceny from December 2012.
Rogers also has previous convictions of driving under the influence in 2010, felony cocaine possession in 1991 and possession of a regulated drug in 1978.
Last Thursday, William D. Ranew, 31, pleaded not guilty in Washington County criminal court in Barre to misdemeanor domestic assault. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
According to the state police affidavit, police responded to a report of a family fight on Creamery Street in Marshfield last Wednesday. State police spoke to the woman identified as the victim, who told them Ranew had been drinking and that he had gotten into an argument with her. The woman told police she then went upstairs to her bedroom and Ranew followed her.
Police said the woman told them Ranew threw her onto the bed and grabbed her by the throat. She said Ranew had her by the throat for three or four seconds until her 7-year-old walked into the room. Ranew then went downstairs, she told police, and at one point pushed the woman against the cabinets in the kitchen. The woman then ran to the neighbor’s home for safety, according to the affidavit.
Ranew was released on conditions.
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