Boyfriend accused of beating reporter is held without bail

Judge calls him 'serious danger'

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff / July 10, 2008

The man accused of beating Channel 7 sports reporter Julie Donaldson so severely that bones in her face were broken will be held without bail until his trial in September, a judge ruled yesterday.

Boston Municipal Court Judge Raymond Dougan Jr. declared that Ivan Lattimore poses a "serious danger of physical injury" to Donaldson, a former beauty pageant winner who has worked for WHDH-TV since March. The judge said there were no conditions he could impose that would prevent Lattimore from contacting Donaldson and, potentially, assaulting her.

Donaldson, who has filed for a restraining order against Lattimore, declined to comment on the judge's decision. She smiled as she hugged her sister outside the courtroom.

Lattimore, who had been dating Donaldson since Thanksgiving, is charged with three counts of assault and battery and one count of indecent assault in connection with an early morning attack at Donaldson's Exeter Street apartment June 28. After a night of drinking and dancing at the Back Bay nightclub Saint, police say, Lattimore groped a young woman inside the apartment and then flew into a drunken rage, throwing Donaldson against a wall and punching her at least two times in the face.

In court, Donaldson said the attack was just the latest in a series of violent acts committed by Lattimore. She said her boyfriend assaulted her at least four times in their relationship, often leaving bruises and swelling that forced her to miss work. In announcing his decision yesterday, the judge said Lattimore had been charged and convicted of similar crimes in California.

Lattimore, 32, lists his occupation as a professional SlamBall player, but Donaldson said she has largely supported him financially and in the process racked up more than $30,000 in credit card debt. A variation on basketball, SlamBall is a team sport that uses trampolines to launch players into the air.

Lattimore's court-appointed lawyer, Jessica Thrall, was combative with Donaldson yesterday, questioning whether the former Miss Florida USA could accurately recall the alleged assault or identify the people she was with afterward. Thrall pointed out that Donaldson and Lattimore started drinking early on June 27 and continued into the next morning.

Thrall sought to portray Donaldson and Lattimore as hard partiers who videotaped themselves having sex just hours before the alleged assault. Donaldson said she drank two bloody Marys at lunch, three glasses of sangria and four shots in the afternoon, a Vodka drink with dinner, and several shots at Saint.

"But you don't forget getting thrown up against a wall," she bristled. "I'm sorry. I'd just been hit in the head and fled for my life in bare feet. . . . I don't remember who was standing around me."

Donaldson, who had earlier said she was ambivalent about filing a restraining order against Lattimore, was more certain yesterday.

"It's not going to stop. It's going to get worse," she testified, adding that the eye injuries she suffered in the latest alleged attack will require surgery. "I'm thinking about every other woman who's afraid like I was and still am."

Donaldson said Lattimore has a problem with alcohol and needs help with anger management and abandonment issues. She said he suffers from "delusions."

Lattimore's attorney said that if released, her client would abide by the terms of the restraining order and not contact Donaldson.

She said Lattimore, a California resident, has ties to Massachusetts, including an aunt and uncle in Brewster and a friend in Dorchester, all of whom he could stay with. She also said Lattimore was once employed by Western New England College and Springfield College. Donaldson "is not in danger, and she knows she is not in danger," Thrall said.

Dougan did not agree. He said no bail conditions could ensure Donaldson's safety. But he also warned Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Patrick Devlin to be prepared to go to trial Sept. 8 and turn over all evidence requested by the defense, including the videotape Donaldson and Lattimore filmed during sex.

"Failure to do so would be at your peril," Dougan said.

'It's not going to stop. It's going to get worse. I'm thinking about every other woman who's afraid like I was and still am,' said reporter Julie Donaldson.


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