Chilmark man pleads guilty to indecent assault

Defendant gets a year in jail after sexual acts with inebriated 14-year-old.

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Wayne Iacono, Jr. pleaded guilty on Sept 29 to sexual assualt of a person 14 years or older. — Rich Saltzberg

Wayne Iacono Jr., 31, pleaded guilty in Edgartown District Court Thursday to indecent assault and battery of a person 14 years or older. Judge John Julian sentenced Iacono to one year in the Dukes County jail and three years probation. 

T​​he plea comes following an investigation by Chilmark Police and the Massachusetts State Police. 

Per a synopsis read into the record by Cape and Islands Assistant District Attorney Matt Palazzolo, in July, 2021, the victim and another 14-year-old companion met two men in their 30s who were in a pickup truck in Menemsha. The girls got in the pickup and made plans to go swimming and to buy alcohol. After going to a package store and to Iacono’s house for towels, the victim and her companion went swimming with the men, and drank at a beach. 

The victim then went to get a pizza with Iacono and later went to Iacono’s house, according to Palazzolo. It was not made clear what happened to the other two people at that point. 

The victim had some drinks, and then took a shower at Iacono’s house, Palazzolo said. Iacono went into the shower and groped the victim, who, Palazzolo said, had described herself at the time as “drunk and falling over.”

The victim attempted to stave off Iacono, Palazzolo said, by making clear that she was a “virgin” and that she wanted to save herself for “someone special.”

According to Palazzolo, Iacono replied, “The Vineyard is a pretty special place.”

The next memory the victim could recall, Palazzolo said, “due to intoxication,” was being in a bed with Iacono in the midst of sex.

Iacono’s sentence was agreed upon between his defense attorney, Charlie Morano, and the prosecution. The prosecution opted to nolle prosequi — to not prosecute — charges of rape of a child by force and aggravated statutory rape.  

Iacono was also ordered to have no contact with the victim. While slated to serve one year, technically he was sentenced to 2.5 years in the house of corrections, with one year to serve and the balance suspended. 

Palazzolo and Morano disagreed on Iacono registering as a sex offender. In his arguments against Iacono registering, Morano noted Iacono has no prior criminal record. “This was a mistake on his part,” Morano said. 

Morano added he doubts what transpired would have happened had Iacono known the age of the victim.

Morano also said a psychological evaluation of his client determined he is “not a pedophile.”

In arguing for registration, Palazzolo said that per the victim’s impact statement, “This was her first sexual experience. It has had a traumatic effect on her and her family ever since this happened over a year ago.”

Palazzolo argued there could be no mistaking the victim for an adult, and recalled his observations in a Zoom meeting with her that lasted for more than an hour.

“As an officer of the court, I can say she doesn’t look like she’s 18,” Palazzolo said. “She’s a 14-year-old girl. This isn’t someone within a couple months of 18. She is clearly a child.”

Palazzolo said the statute is “clear” that someone must register if they plead guilty to indecent assault and battery on a person 14 years or older.

Judge Julian said he would take arguments regarding sex offender registration under advisement. 

20 COMMENTS

  1. Only one year? A mistake is when you hit the wrong letter on your keyboard…this is the rape of a 14-year old…They are discussing whether the girl looks 14 or 18??? How about SHE WAS RAPED…

  2. A year? For the rape of a child? A crime like this and a year sentence to serve? I can not quite fathom how this can be true.

  3. Rape of a child equals one year AND indecision over registering as a sex offender??
    Unbelievable.
    I’m sure if it was the judges daughter the sentence would be much more severe.

  4. A year ? A year ?
    So the torment of rape – reporting it – a guilty plea and only one year.

    People should look at court records and see how much time is given when a person steals from someone wealthy or harms their property. Years of time.

    Rape a 14 year old and it’s only a year.

    And this is our “blue” state that votes for women.

    Unacceptable.

  5. Seriously?! No justice in this sentencing. The young girl has been sentenced to a lifetime of horrid memories!

    • I read the article. I wonder which part of the article you think Jackie didn’t read?
      Perhaps the “psychological evaluation” that surmised he was not a pedophile ?
      You believe that ? You who disregard every scientific study? — how ironic! The article does not state who conducted that evaluation.
      It might have been the defendants brother for all we know.
      But whatever–a 31 year old man raping a 14 year old girl is not acceptable in our society.
      But we can look to the bible for “morality” right ?
      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+22%3A13-21&version=ESV

      Do you know this guy ?
      Are you defending him?
      Do you think his actions were OK?
      It seems like it– but of course Floridians have no problem with this kind of stuff . Just look at who represents Florida’s first district.

      Or are you just having one of your typical knee jerk reactions to try to discredit anything Jackie says?
      I can’t wait for you to try to discredit this comment.

  6. You have only read or heard one side to this story. I have know this young man since birth. There were many lies covered up and this man is not guilty.

    • We have heard the side of the story that was read into the judicial record…if the defendant had a problem with that story, maybe he should not have pled guilty…

  7. “indecent assault” is what republicans think PRESIDENT Joe Biden is guilty of every time he hugs a woman.
    This was the outright rape of a minor.

  8. “The prosecution opted to nolle prosequi — to not prosecute — charges of rape of a child by force and aggrivated stauatory rape.”

    A drunk 14 year old cannot consent to sexual acts with a 30 year old. A sober 14 year old child cannot consent to sexual acts with a 30 year old.

    “The defendant gets a year in jail after sexual acts with an inebriated 14 year-old” is the subtitle under the headline in this article. How do 14 year-olds, who do not yet have entirely developed brains with formed consequence-awareness, happen to become inebriated so that a perpetrator could do this to her? Through manipulative wording, there is an underlying assumption that even a 14 year-old is responsible for being drunk (no one poured it down her throat and she willingly got in the truck), and therefore everything that happened to her afterwards was her own fault, according to some thinking. It’s the old “she was asking for it” excuse. Two grown men decided to pick up minor girls and go buy acohol for them all to drink. Even if 14 year olds look like 18 year olds, which they did not according to this article, they still cannot buy alcohol. Someone has to buy it for them. Someone either has to give it to them or they steal it. Minors are supposed to be protected from partaking in dangerous or frightening adult behaviors that seem like “fun”, especially by adults who should never, ever encourage this. The perpetrator and the victim were not both 2 teenagers. This was a 14 year old girl and a predatory 30 year old man. There are no “other side of the story” excuses for grown ass adults who ply children with alcohol and grope them and have sex with them when they are too drunk to resist– after providing them with the alcohol.

    “The victim had some drinks” is a passive, out of context phrase that also takes blame off the predatory perpetrator and puts it on the victim. She didn’t simply ‘have some drinks’. Fourteen year-olds don’t simply “have some drinks”. Alcohol was procured and provided for her, alcohol that she otherwise would not have had. The drinking was decided early on, when 2 grown men picked up the minor girls who willingly, and 14-year-old-stupidly, got in the truck in a “safe” place like Menemsha. No one deserves to be raped.

    Iacono, who committed sex offenses by his own admission in court, absolutely should be a registered sex offender for life. The girl is a victim of rape for life, despite the plea bargain by the man who did this to her.

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