Three indicted by Dukes County grand jury


A Dukes County grand jury returned indictments against three Island men on June 22.

Peter J. Duart, 41, of Tisbury, was indicted on one count of rape, subsequent offense. State Police, acting on an arrest warrant issued at the request of Oak Bluffs police, arrested Mr. Duart, at a restaurant in Dartmouth on March 17. He was charged with rape and indecent assault and battery of a retarded person in Edgartown District Court. (The outdated term “retarded person” is the language used in the state statute.) When he was arrested he was carrying his passport and more than $5,000 in cash, according to a statement issued by Oak Bluffs police. Mr. Duart, a registered sex offender, has faced similar charges in the past. He was convicted in 2004 of a rape whose characteristics closely resemble those alleged in the new charges he faces. According to court records, he served a two-year prison sentence and probation for that rape conviction. Mr. Duart is a former assistant manager at the Stop & Shop store in Edgartown and a former assistant high school football coach. At the time of his arrest, he was a member of the Tisbury planning board.

Also indicted was Richard J. Morris, 55, of Oak Bluffs. He faces charges of heroin trafficking, receiving stolen property, two counts of drug possession, and carrying a dangerous weapon. He also faces a charge of being a common receiver, under a law that allows prison sentences of up to 10 years for people convicted twice of receiving or possessing stolen property.

A team of Island police officers arrested Mr. Morris on April 12, as he drove off the Island Home ferry at the Vineyard Haven Steamship Authority terminal. Police developed information that Mr. Morris was stealing copper wire from the NSTAR facility on Edgartown- Vineyard Haven Road. Police said he traveled to the Worcester area to sell the wire at a salvage yard and used the proceeds to buy heroin for distribution here on the Island.

Mr. Morris has an extensive criminal record on-Island that includes convictions for heroin dealing, larceny, and receiving stolen property.

The third man indicted was Charles G. Loiselle of Oak Bluffs. The grand jury indicted him on six charges, including kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault and battery, and intimidation of a witness.

All three men were previously charged in Edgartown District Court. The indictments effectively move the cases to Dukes County Superior Court, where the defendants are eligible for harsher sentences, including jail time in state prison.