Oak Bluffs man pleads guilty to assault on exotic dancer


William J. Bernard, 39, of Oak Bluffs pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery Monday in Edgartown District Court, as part of an agreement that spared him prosecution on more serious charges stemming from an attack on an exotic dancer at a nightlong party he hosted.

The charge was reduced from the original charge of indecent assault and battery. The district attorney declined to prosecute a rape charge, as part of the plea agreement.

Mr. Bernard was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to have no contact with the victim of the assault.

Oak Bluffs police sought charges after an exotic dancer from Maine claimed she was attacked repeatedly, during a nightlong, alcohol- and drug-fueled party in April. Mr. Bernard organized the party at his home on Franklin Avenue in Oak Bluffs, to celebrate the release of Anthony D. Somoano from prison on drug and weapons charges.

Mr. Somoano, 29, and another man, both charged in connection with assault at the same party, appeared in court Monday.

Mr. Somoano of Oak Bluffs pled guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery. The district attorney declined to prosecute a rape charge. Mr. Somoano was sentenced to one year of probation.

A third defendant, Christopher I. McNally, 19, of Bourne, agreed that the district attorney presented sufficient facts to prove a charge of assault and battery. A rape charge was not prosecuted. His case was continued without a finding for one year.