Rape, kidnapping defendant allowed to go to Florida

Chad Atkinson, who is free on $20,000 bail after being charged with rape and kidnapping, was allowed to travel to Florida for work following a motion made in court Friday. — Rich Saltzberg

A man charged with the rape and kidnapping of a 16-year-old in Vineyard Haven was granted permission to travel to Florida for work. Tisbury Police charged Chad Atkinson in September, based on events alleged to have occurred in downtown Vineyard Haven and on Lambert’s Cove Road. Atkinson previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, and posted $20,000 bail.

On Friday, defense attorney Robb Moriarty asked the court to allow his client to travel to Fort Lauderdale, where he has work lined up. Assistant District Attorney Matt Palazzolo objected to the request, noting the charges against Atkinson come with high penalties. Palazzolo argued this made Atkinson a flight risk.

Judge Benjamin Barnes noted the prosecution’s objection for the record, but allowed the request for travel to Florida. At the request of the prosecution, a probable cause hearing scheduled for Friday was rescheduled, against the objection of the defense. That hearing is slated for Jan. 9. 


  1. Florida sends us 50 migrants seeking asylum and whom we helped, and we send them one accused rapist. Solomon couldn’t have cut a better deal.

  2. Judge Benjamin Barnes is a failure. He is not doing his job. Why did Barnes delay the probable cause hearing for three months?
    “At the request of the prosecution, a probable cause hearing scheduled for Friday was rescheduled against the objection of the defense. That hearing is slated for Jan. 9.”
    The criminals are running the courthouse.

    • Is this man a criminal?
      What crime has he been convicted of?
      What percentage of the accused are found not guilty?

      • At most 10 percent are found not guilty. We ordinary people would be fools to think everyone who is accused is innocent until proven guilty. That is a term for the courts only. Plenty of criminals who are not convicted. America is full of them. We need to live on the proper planet.

          • Keller I said 10 percent not guilty. You can read it above. I am also referring to all classes of crime. Most people–90 percent are later found guilty. I was referring to Hess who asked ”what percentage of accused are found not guilty”

          • andy–You never cease to amaze me.
            According to what I learned about math and logic in third grade, if 10% are not guilty, 90% are guilty.
            I am sure you are aware of the book “Animal farm” by George Orwell.
            I will remind you of one of its most iconic lines;
            “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” What makes it so iconic is that when the original seven commandments were written on the barn wall to guide the fledgling farm , commandment # 7 was “all animals are created equal”. It was only later when Boxer questioned why the pigs had more than the rest of the animals, and he went back to read commandment #7 again, it had been modified.

            Regardless of your ( insert adjective here) effort to modify your original comment, the fact remains that no where near 90% of the accused are found guilty–even “later”– whatever that means.
            I won’t repost the link I put up, or the link Jonathan posted.
            How about you cite your sources ?

      • Atkinson has been charged with rape and kidnapping of a 16 year old. No one said Atkinson is a criminal. Serious charges of this nature should be processed expeditiously and with high importance. Barnes three month delay of the probable cause hearing is not justified. The rape victim, her family, friends will suffer the consequences of the delay as will potential risk to the local community. Transferring this potential to Florida is similar to moving immigrants to MV. This court should be accountable for it’s feeble law enforcement.

        • The definition of a criminal is someone who has been convicted of a crime.
          Accusations do not make you a criminal.
          Juries or your admission of guilt do.

          • Albert –That is the most ridiculous comment of the month.
            Your actions make you a criminal.
            While Merriam Webster does define a criminal as someone convicted of a crime, it also defines it as someone who has committed a crime.
            Like all those BLM and Antifa people you like to call criminals for looting and rioting but were never arrested , let alone being convicted.
            Do you think that all those gang members who are killing each other and robbing stores at will in Chicago are not criminals ?
            Come on man–

          • Mr Hess, respectfully, there are juries who find a criminal not guilty when everyone knows they were. There are juries who find someone guilty when one is innocent. There are people who plead guilty when indeed they are innocent in order to avoid a big sentence. Criminals are people who break the law especially important laws. Stalin was a master mind criminal(not imprisoned) even before he became a Soviet leader criminal as was Hitler a war criminal.. Vague technicalities dont help anyone.

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