Updated 5:45 pm Thursday, November 13, 2013
On Friday in Edgartown District Court, Andrew Bradshaw, 49, charged with multiple child molestation charges and facing the possibility of life in prison, pled guilty as part of a plea agreement. He was sentenced to two and a half years in a house of correction, 18 months to be served, and five and a half years of probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender for life.
Mr. Bradshaw was arrested September 5, and he was arraigned in Edgartown District Court the following day on a charge of rape of a child by force. Mr. Bradshaw, formerly a resident of Tisbury, was also arraigned on two charges of enticement of a child and a charge of open and gross lewdness. The female victims in the case, according to the police report, were 11 and 12 when Mr. Bradshaw committed the crimes.
As part of the plea arrangement, the charge of rape of a child by force was reduced to indecent assault and battery under the age of 14. Mr. Bradshaw also pleaded guilty to open and gross lewdness, two counts of enticement of a child under 16, witness intimidation, violation of a restraining order and violating an abuse prevention order.
Mr. Bradshaw had sent text messages to the victims’ mother via an intermediary, which were read aloud in court. He also violated the restraining order when he parked in the victims’ school parking lot.
Mr. Bradshaw’s actions were described in great detail in testimony read to the court by Cape and Islands assistant district attorney Laura Marshard.
The victims’ biological father and stepmother sat in the front row during the proceedings. Mr. Bradshaw never made any eye contact or gestures directed at them. Ms. Marshard read their victim impact statement, dated Friday, August 23, written by the stepmother, the night the abuse was discovered. “I think back to the times in the past and the sadness the girls exhibited and I’m heartbroken that I didn’t ask the right questions. We have been bullied by this man for almost 10 years, and now our family has lost its innocence.”
The letter requested that Mr. Bradshaw serve his sentence off Island. Presiding judge H. Gregory Williams said he would recommend that the sentence to be served in either the Barnstable or Bristol house of correction, noting that the final decision rests with the respective sheriffs’ departments.
In court, Ms. Marshard said that while she thought the state could push for more committed time behind bars for Mr. Bradshaw, she thought it was in the best interest of the victims and their families to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
“I wish I could say that this resolution today will bring closure to the victims of the defendant,” said Judge Williams. “I don’t think there is, in a case like this, any such thing as closure. It will at least save them from the further traumatization of them having to come to court and testify.”
After the sentencing, outside the courtroom, The Times asked the victims’ father and stepmother if they thought justice was done.
“We’ll see what happens in New Hampshire and Florida,” said the visibly upset stepmother, referring to similar allegations that have been made against Mr. Bradshaw in the two states. The father declined to comment.
Defense attorney Drew Segadelli said there were not formal charges against Mr. Bradshaw in those states but that it was “on the radar.” He added that since Mr. Bradshaw was going to be in a house of correction, as opposed to federal or state prison, he would only serve about half of the 18-month sentence, minus what he’s served now, probably eight months.
In a telephone conversation Tuesday, Ms. Marshard confirmed that there are active investigations of Mr. Bradshaw in New Hampshire and Florida.