PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A formerly prominent Bristol official accused of sexual misconduct with boys in the 1970s and 1980s was ordered Monday to stay away from an accuser who said he was being harassed for going to the police.
Magistrate J. Patrick O’Neill granted a three-year restraining order against David E. Barboza, 65, after a 45-year-old man with Asperger’s syndrome testified that Barboza had accosted him on the street and inside his apartment.
O’Neill rejected arguments by Barboza’s lawyer, Fausto Anguilla, that the man wasn’t in “imminent harm.”
“[Barboza] went to his house. He came to his door,” O’Neill said, his voice raised. “Imminent harm? He knows where he lives. Mr. Barboza chose to seek him out... confront him, find him, intimidate him.”
O’Neill also ordered Barboza to surrender any firearms.
Anguilla and Barboza declined comment after court. The alleged victim, who was also in court, gave a thumbs up and a smile to spectators.
The civil restraining order could mean criminal charges if it’s violated.
The man testified in the court hearing Monday that Barboza had rubbed himself against the man at an election party in 1992, when the man was 18. He also testified that Barboza made sexual remarks in the rectory of St. Mary’s Church, where Barboza was the longtime administrator. Additionally, the man also said that on several occasions between 2014 and 2017, Barboza opened the man’s pants to “check his pants’ size” when the man was seeking clothing from the church.
The Boston Globe does not identify people who allege they are victims of sexual misconduct without their permission.
The man testified that he came forward after reading the Globe story on July 31 about other men who’d accused Barboza of soliciting and sexual assault. The man said he told Walter Smith, the grand knight of the Bristol Knights of Columbus, who testified Monday that he was mandated by law to report these allegations to police within 24 hours.
Smith testified that he brought the man to the Bristol police to give a report about the alleged sexual misconduct. And, when the man told Smith that Barboza came to his house and threatened him last month, Smith said he again notified the police.
The man testified that Barboza accosted him on the street in September and a week later, came to his house and threatened him, in front of his mother, for going to the police.
“He said I threw him under the bus and I threw St. Mary’s under the bus,” the man told the court.
He testified that he’d long thought of Barboza as a friend and that he and his mother went to the church for food and clothing because they were poor. He said that he was alone in the basement with Barboza each time the older man opened the front of his pants to “check his pants size.” The man said he didn’t have any underwear, because he couldn’t afford any.
But you didn’t know your pants’ size, Anguilla said to the man. What if I didn’t know my pants size? he said.
“I wouldn’t look down your pants,” the man responded. “You look at the back, not the front.”
The man testified that he didn’t report Barboza before the Globe article because he didn’t know it was wrong, because there was no nudity, and because his mother told him to let it go.
Barboza has not been charged with a crime. Smith testified that the police told him and the man that the allegations were past the statute of limitations.
The man obtained a temporary restraining order against Barboza on Oct. 1, two weeks after Barboza went to his house. He testified that the Bristol police advised him to get a full restraining order, but he needed a ride to get to court. And, he said, he didn’t want to go to court alone.
The magistrate took note of the man’s mental disabilities as he ordered the restraining order to be permanent.
“I’m a little upset at the mother for brushing it off,” O’Neill said. “He wasn’t aware he was a victim.”
Amanda Milkovits can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org