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Arlington police investigate alleged assault by state senator

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Andrea Estes
Globe Staff / April 8, 2008

Arlington police last night said they are investigating an incident over the weekend involving state Senator James Marzilli, who is accused of assaulting a woman Saturday night.

Police provided no details and Marzilli did not return phone calls from the Globe. Marzilli's lawyer, Terrence Kennedy, said the allegations are false.

"When this matter reaches its natural conclusion, our expectation is it will amount to what it is - which is nothing," Kennedy said. The woman has filed a complaint with the Police Department, but Marzilli has not yet been interviewed by police, he said.

Kennedy said police or the Middlesex district attorney's office could ask for a hearing before a clerk magistrate, who would decide whether to issue a formal complaint, or police could summons or arrest him. But Kennedy predicted that after the investigation is completed, they will decide against bringing charges.

Marzilli has been one of the leading liberal voices on Beacon Hill for nearly two decades, first as a state representative and more recently as a state senator.

He beat out three other Democrats in a primary on Nov. 13 to fill the seat vacated by former senator Robert A. Havern. He won a special general election in December.

Marzilli, 49, an Arlington native, spent 17 years in the House. He has been especially focused on energy and climate change issues, and in 2001 was named Environmental Legislator of the Year by the Environmental League of Massachusetts.

He also led successful House efforts to increase the minimum wage, abolish Middlesex County government, and provide property tax breaks for low-income seniors.

Last year, Marzilli lost his post as vice chairman of the Health Care Financing Committee after running afoul of House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, he said. Marzilli said he was demoted after he filed energy legislation that was much more aggressive than the speaker's own bill.

Andrea Estes can be reached at estes@globe.com.

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