BROCKTON – Daniel Nash, 33, of Whitman, who was found guilty of raping a woman at a Jan. 25, 2014 house party, was sentenced to serve five to seven years in state prison on Thursday, Dec. 13 in Brockton Superior Court, announced Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz Thursday.
Nash was found guilty of two counts of rape, one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 and one count of photographing an unsuspecting person in the nude.
Judge Robert Gordon presided over the five-day jury trial ending in a guilty verdict Dec. 3 and sentenced Nash Thursday. Nash asked for a two-year custodial sentence through his Brockton-based attorney Joseph Krowski, Jr., while Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Sprague asked for eight to 12 years in custody.
Gordon sentenced Nash to serve five to seven years in state prison at MCI-Cedar Junction (a maximum-security prison in Walpole), to be followed by two and one half years in the house of correction, suspended for two years. After that, Nash will be on probation for three years under the conditions that he stays away from, and not have contact with, the victim; that he wears a GPS monitoring bracelet; that he registers with the state Sex Offender Registry Board and that he undergoes sex offender treatment.
A representative for the district attorney’s office stated that the commonwealth was satisfied with the sentence.
Nash, a former State Street Bank account manager, held a birthday party at his Whitman home in 2014. The victim, his then-fiancée’s sister, arrived at the party and stayed overnight. The following morning, the victim woke up and called Whitman Police to report that she had been sexually assaulted by a person at the party, believed to be Nash, and the victim also believed there was a video of the incident, according to the release and court records.
Whitman Police investigated and interviewed Nash, who eventually admitted to the assault. Nash consented to a search of his cellphone by Whitman Police where a video of the incident, which he had attempted to delete, was located, court records also state.
The ADA, Sprague, first read the victim’s impact statement into the record, saying to the judge that the victim was too emotional to address the court even though she was present.
The victim asked, several times, for the maximum sentence, “not a slap on the wrist,” through the ADA.
Sprague herself asked for a sentence greater than those suggested by the Superior Court sentencing guidelines, noting several aggravating factors in the crime, including that the defendant was especially vulnerable because she was intoxicated at the party.
“The defendant did not express remorse for his actions … He, in fact, tried to blame the event on the victim’s flirtatious behavior with him earlier in the evening and his own intoxication, which was greatly exaggerated. The defendant then denied these allegations to the victim’s family, causing a termination/alienation of the family relationships and bonds the victim had with her mother, stepfather, and sister,” stated Sprague in a sentencing memorandum.
The defense relied heavily on Nash’s lack of a criminal record in arguing for a lenient, but custodial, two-year sentence. His attorney, Krowski, noted that he had never been in a fist fight, never had a detention in school and didn’t even have a speeding ticket. He said the incident was “an aberration in Mr. Nash’s otherwise impeccable record.”
“One moment in time … cannot define a man,” he stated in a sentencing memorandum.
He also argued that Nash was engaged to the victim’s sister at the time of the crime, and they got married despite the pending charges. The victim’s parents also attended the trial in support of Nash, he said.
“They recognize that the crimes were truly an aberration, completely inconsistent with his character as a caring husband and loving son-in-law,” he stated in his sentencing memorandum.
He also said that about 50 letters had been written in support of Nash.
The arguments did not particularly persuade the judge, who in a somewhat rare move, according to court personnel, handed down a written, six-page sentencing ruling which he read to the court, after deliberating for about 15 minutes following the victim impact statement and hearing from the two opposing parties.
“In arriving at its sentencing decision, the Court has placed greatest emphasis upon the truly egregious nature of the offenses themselves,” Gordon stated, describing in detail the crimes Nash committed, and that “[a] more appalling mistreatment of a member of one’s own soon-to-be family is difficult to conceive…”
The judge noted that “[a]s for the victim’s character, the Court finds that the evidence at trial intensifies rather than mitigates its judgement of the Defendant in this case … this woman was especially vulnerable to Mr. Nash’s brand of predation. Far from lessening the blameworthiness of his actions, these facts mark the Defendant as a bullying exploiter of the powerless, convinced that a victim in a distressed condition was somehow not entitled to even the most basic protections of the law.”
Following that, he added, “It is, perhaps, true that no person should ever be judged to harshly for their single worst moment in life, and I am reminded of this trope as the Court contemplates a proper sentence for Mr. Nash. That said, there are boundaries of human decency which, once crossed, require due reckoning in a society that strives for justice. This is, sadly, such a case.”
Finally, he noted that the law authorized him to sentence Nash to up to 20 years’ imprisonment on each offense of rape, but that the sentence was in line with the Superior Court sentencing guidelines for someone with no criminal record.