Westport man sentenced to prison for assaulting girlfriend

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — A Westport man who pleaded guilty to violently assaulting his girlfriend on multiple occasions is headed to prison.

The Bristol County District Attorney announced Thursday that Nathan Moniz, 31, was sentenced to serve three to four years in state prison with another three years of supervised probation.

Prosecutors said police arrested Moniz late in 2015 and charged him with three counts of assault and battery, two counts of intimidating a witness, and one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

They said Moniz assaulted his girlfriend on June 20, 2015, when he threw her off the bed and onto the floor. Then on October 15, 2015, the victim suffered more serious injuries after prosecutors said the defendant punched his girlfriend in the face, dragged her by her hair back into the house after she attempted to flee, slammed her head up against the wall, and broke the victim’s phone while she was trying to dial for police.

Following his arrest, Moniz was ordered held without bail. However, as he was awaiting trial he reached out to the victim and, according to prosecutors, tried to convince her not to testify against him. Prosecutors said Moniz told the woman that he if wanted her to be dead, he could make that happen.

“It appears that the defendant will not be deterred from committing crimes against this victim, and the four-year state prison sentence is needed to protect her from him,” commented District Attorney Quinn. “It is critical that defendants like these are held without bail pending trial. In this case, the victim made great strides in moving forward with her life while the defendant was incarcerated. I commend her for that.”

The victim has become employed, completed a domestic violence victim awareness class, and is working on gaining a restraining order and full custody of her children, according to the DA’s office.

During the sentencing hearing, the state argued for a sentence of four to five years in prison with additional probation, while the defendant requested two years in prison with no additional probation.

The release stated that Moniz had already been on probation at the time he was arrested for assault.

Back in 2014, he was also accused by Westport Police of selling his neighbors’ cars for scrap money. No word if that arrest is connected to the probation.

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