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Saugus selectman charged with domestic assault

Saugus selectman Stephen Horlick at his arraignment in Lynn on assault and battery charges.

Kathy McCabe/ Globe Staff

Saugus selectman Stephen Horlick at his arraignment in Lynn on assault and battery charges.

A Saugus selectman is facing charges of assault and battery on a woman and has been ordered not to abuse her after a domestic incident at his home earlier this month.

Stephen M. Horlick, a nine-year selectman, was issued the no-abuse order by Judge James LaMothe during his arraignment Monday in Lynn District Court after Horlick’s attorney entered a plea of not guilty to charges of assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a cellphone. Horlick is due back in court on Nov. 28.

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State law allows no-abuse orders for individuals involved in domestic disputes who remain living in the same household. It differs from a restraining order, which bans all contact between the parties.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Katelyn Giliberti said her office had contacted the woman, who declined to have a restraining order issued against Horlick. The Globe does not identify alleged victims of abuse.

Horlick, 51, did not speak during his arraignment. He declined to comment on the charges when approached by a Globe reporter at the courthouse.

His attorney, John J. Burke of North Andover, said, “I think the facts will show that he is innocent of these charges.”

Horlick, who was sworn into office on Nov. 5, 2003, is also the owner of VCR Technologies Inc., a Wakefield-based repair business.

‘I know he has never been convicted of a crime.’

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In a Saugus police report dated Oct. 6, the woman stated she at first was too afraid to seek help because of Horlick’s position as an elected town official.

“She did not want to get Mr. Horlick in trouble because he is a town selectman and she thought he would get mad at her, so she did not tell the officers about the injuries or the assault,” the report states.

She also told police that Horlick tried to restrain her when she attempted to flee to a house on Bacon Drive. “She stated that she tried to leave the house, but that Mr. Horlick held her by the arms, keeping her from leaving because he did not want anyone to know they were fighting. . . . Mr. Horlick covered her mouth to keep her from screaming for help,” the police report states.

At about 8 p.m., the woman knocked on a neighbor’s door, and asked him to call police because she had been assaulted, according to the police report.

Horlick told police the two had a verbal argument. He had questioned her decision to drink wine, since she was recently prescribed a medication for depression and she was not supposed to consume alcohol, the report states.

The woman, who police said was “highly animated and smelled of alcohol,” declined medical treatment. Horlick said he would stay away from the woman for the evening, the report states.

Several hours later, at about 3 a.m. on Oct. 6, an emergency room nurse at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital called Saugus police to report that they were treating a woman for injuries she said she had suffered in an earlier assault, the report states.

When Saugus police went to the hospital, red marks were visible above the woman’s left eye, on her upper arms, thighs, left wrist, and knee, the report states. She also had a cut toe.

The woman told police the injuries surfaced several hours after she engaged in a physical struggle, during which Horlick “threw her phone at her, hitting her in the forehead.” She told police she slapped Horlick in self defense, according to the report.

After taking the woman’s report at the hospital, Saugus police reinterviewed Horlick. He said he knew she had gone to the hospital, “but was confused because the marks were not on her when he last saw her,” the police report stated.

Horlick also told police that the woman “attacked him, and hit him several times last night and shoved her phone in his face,” and he e-mailed police pictures of redness to the side of his head and face that are now part of the court record.

Police wrote that they planned to file a cross-complaint against the woman, but there was no hearing scheduled for her at Lynn District Court.

Horlick has faced assault charges in the past, court records show.

In April 1987, Horlick was charged with one count of assault and battery, and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The charges were later dismissed.

In October 2000, he was charged with assault and battery. The case was dismissed.

In addition, in May 1998, Horlick’s former girlfriend, a mother of three, received a temporary restraining order against him, court records show.

In October 2000, Horlick was charged with one count of stalking, and a judge ordered him to stay away from the Saugus man who filed the complaint and was the father of the boyfriend of Horlick’s former girlfriend at the time, police records show.

A trial on the stalking charge was scheduled for early 2002, but was not held after the complainant declined to press charges, records show.

“I know he has never been convicted of a crime,” said Burke, Horlick’s attorney. “He has no criminal record, in my mind.”

Kathy McCabe can be reached at kmccabe@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKMc­Cabe.
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