Massachusetts Judge Rules Man Can Attend Church While Awaiting Trial for Extortion Plot

A judge in Massachusetts has ruled that a man with an extensive arrest record who is awaiting trial for his alleged involvement in an extortion plot can attend weekly worship services.

51-year-old Anthony J. Scibelli, the defendant charged with collecting on an extension of credit by extortionate means, can attend worship at Our Lady of Mount Carmel of Springfield while remaining under home confinement.

Scibelli was previously convicted of witness intimidation in 1989, false statements in 1992, and distribution of a controlled substance in 2004, according to the Boston Globe.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine A. Robertson wrote in a ruling allowing Scibelli out on bond in August that the defendant has his supporters, despite a history of arrests.

“Twelve letters from family members and friends submitted by the defendant in support of his bid for pretrial release establish that he lives with, and thoughtfully cares for, his elderly mother, who is in the early stages of dementia,” wrote Judge Robertson, as quoted by the Globe.

“He has a history of helping out and providing emotional comfort to a wide circle of family members and friends. He has a number of serious medical ailments. In 2004, he qualified for, and now collects, monthly social security disability payments.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski