PLYMOUTH - A Terryville man, recently convicted of having inappropriate contact with a young girl, was denied his request on Thursday to modify an order that he have no contact with minors.
Joseph Byron, 55, has pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine to charges of second-degree unlawful restraint, coercion and first-degree reckless endangerment. An Alford plea means Byron disputes the allegations, while conceding that he could have been convicted after a trial.
After accepting the plea deal during a hearing last month, in Bristol Superior Court, Byron's attorney, Jodi Zils Gagne, made a request to modify some of the conditions put in place during and after Byron's sentencing. He was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended, and three years of probation.
Byron was ordered not to contact the victim in the case and to stay 100 yards away from her. While on probation, he has been told not to have contact with any minors.
According to prosecutors, Byron in July 2017 approached a young girl, who was under 16 and known to him through family, during an event at her home. He ran his hand along her thigh, near her vaginal area, and touched her breasts, prosecutors have said.
On Thursday, Gagne argued that Byron should be allowed to go to his son's confirmation ceremony, which is coming up, despite the order that he stay 100 yards away from the victim, who is expected to be at the same ceremony. Prosecutors objected, saying the victim should not be put through any further distress.
"It brings back all these horrible memories," state prosecutor Paul Rotiroti said. "She doesn't need this in her life."
"We should not put the victim in any further agony or pain," the prosecutor continued.
Further, Gagne asked that Byron be allowed to have contact with minors, as he has multiple family members who are underage.
Judge John Cronan denied both requests, saying he would be willing to revisit the condition that Byron not have contact with minors in the future.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.