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2 defense attorneys cleared of witness intimidation charges

June 25, 2021 GMT

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Two Massachusetts defense attorneys have been cleared of charges that they took part in a plot to make a key witness in a human trafficking trial unavailable to testify.

Blake Rubin, who ran for Worcester district attorney in 2018, was found not guilty by a judge Thursday of witness intimidation and conspiracy to commit witness intimidation.

Angela Cavanaugh was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit witness intimidation.

Prosecutors alleged that Rubin, who represented a human trafficking suspect in a 2018 trial, and Cavanaugh, who represented a witness in the case, conspired to bail the witness out of jail and send her to Maine so she wouldn’t be able to testify.

But after a four-day bench trial, Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke said he found no evidence either lawyer acted inappropriately.

Cavanaugh’s attorneys outside court called the prosecution an abuse of power.

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Rubin said the verdict was the “only just result” that could have happened, and a conviction would have had a “chilling effect” on defense attorneys statewide.

The case was prosecuted by the Plymouth district attorney’s office.

“We went forward with the evidence that we had in this case, Locke today rendered his verdict, and we respect that decision,” an office spokesperson said in an email.