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Convicted sex offender back in jail after domestic assault




  • In US
  • 2021-09-23 14:33:00Z
  • By The Daily News of Newburyport, Mass.

Sep. 23-NEWBURYPORT - One of the city's few registered Level 3 sex offenders is back behind bars after pleading guilty to domestic violence-related charges on Wednesday in Newburyport District Court.

Arnold Jelley, 60, of Storey Avenue pleaded guilty to assault and battery on a family/household member, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and intimidating a witness and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

But as part of his guilty plea, all but 90 days of his sentence was suspended for 18 months while on probation. During his time on probation, Jelley must remain drug and alcohol free with random screens, and must stay away and have no contact with his victim. He also must complete a state batterer's program.

Jelley was due to have a jury trial on the charges on Wednesday but reached a plea deal instead.

In 1989, Jelley was sentenced to six to 12 years in jail after being convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 years old, rape and abuse of a child, and assault of a child with intent to commit rape. Since his release, he has been living with his mother at her Storey Avenue address.

Level 3 sex offenders are considered the highest risk to reoffend, according to state officials. All Level 2 and 3 sex offenders must register with the state's Sex Offender Registry Board and report any changes in address.

In April 2018, Jelley was sentenced to a year of probation after failing to register as a sex offender after briefly moving to Salisbury. A few months earlier, he was arrested by Newburyport police after allegedly pushing his sister down a flight of stairs at the Storey Avenue home, according to court records.

The newest charges were the result of an altercation with another person at the Storey Avenue address on Sept, 6, 2020.

According to an Essex County prosecutor, Jelley threw a cigarette lighter at the victim, hitting her in the face. When she tried to call police on the home's landline phone, he unplugged it.

She eventually called police on her cell phone but before police arrived, Jelley grabbed her hair violently. He then left the house and went into a camper in the backyard where he was living.

Shortly before Jelley pleaded guilty, the woman told Judge Allen Swan that Jelley had an anger management problem and that jail time was the only way he would be dissuaded from being violent again.

Jelley, via his attorney, asked Swan to spare him from jail time and instead sentence him to probation. Swan denied the request.

That prompted Jelley to temporarily withdraw his plea and insist on a trial. But when Swan told him that the trial would take place immediately, Jelley changed his mind and accepted the deal.

By the time the actual plea deal took place, Swan had left the courtroom to oversee another trial. Judge William Martin took over and officially sentenced Jelley. Also, the victim and Jelley's sister filed for restraining orders shortly before Jelley pleaded out.

Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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