State Senator J. James Marzilli Jr. was arrested in Lowell today and charged with multiple counts related to an assault, less than a month after prosecutors decided not to charge the veteran lawmaker with inappropriately touching a woman in a separate incident in Arlington.
Marzilli was arrested at 3:45 p.m. on Middle Street, which is located downtown near Lowell City Hall, police said. He was charged with attempting to commit an indecent assault, simple assault and battery, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, and disorderly conduct, according to the Middlesex district attorney's office.
Authorities declined to provide details of Marzilli's alleged crimes. After his arrest, the Arlington Democrat was booked at the Lowell Police Department, held behind bars for several hours awaiting the arrival of a bail officer, and then posted $40 bail, Lowell police said. Marzilli will be arraigned Wednesday in Lowell District Court.
Marzilli's lawyer, Terrence W. Kennedy of Everett, said today that he had not spoken to his client and had no comment. A woman who answered the phone at Marzilli's home and identified herself as his wife, said, "I wish I could talk to you but I can't." Marzilli has been a longtime champion of liberal causes, and his arrest had immediate reverberations in the political world. Less than two hours after he was charged, the state Republican Party released a statement saying:
"Sen. Marzilli is entitled to his day in court, but these are very serious charges and if they are true he should resign." Just last month Marzilli had expressed relief when Middlesex prosecutors decided that there was not evidence to charge him with inappropriately touching a woman in Arlington on April 6. In that case, the woman alleged that she met Marzilli at a fundraiser, that he offered her a ride home, and then touched her inappropriately at about 1:15 a.m.
Prosecutors decided on May 13 that, after interviewing the woman and multiple witnesses at the fundraiser, there was not evidence to charge Marzilli with a crime.