Brattleboro man gets jail for assault on teen


BRATTLEBORO -- A man has admitted his role in a February 2013 assault on a teen in Brattleboro. Anthony Gonzalez, 33, of Brattleboro, pleaded no contest to aiding in commission of an aggravated assault on Wednesday in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division.

Gonzalez immediately was sentenced to serve three to eight years in prison. That sentence, even at the minimum, "provides for the defendant to remain incarcerated for the length of the victim's high-school career, followed by a period of supervised release," said Windham County Deputy State's Attorney David Gartenstein.

Gonzalez was arrested with Charles Trowell, of Jersey City, N.J. The two were accused of attempting to rob a teenager late on the night of Feb. 1, 2013, after the victim had left the Brattleboro Boys & Girls Club.

Police said Trowell held a kitchen knife to the boy's throat while Gonzalez restrained the victim. When the boy pulled away, he suffered a four-centimeter-long cut to his throat, authorities have said. The wound was not life-threatening.

Gonzalez has maintained that it was not his intent to participate in the assault and also has said impairment from substance abuse was a factor. He will receive credit for time served toward his sentence. That adds up to more than 13 months, as Gonzalez has been incarcerated since his arrest.

"The case against the co-defendant, Charles Trowell, remains pending," Gartenstein said.

In other court news:

-- Damion Forbes, 23, of Putney, was sentenced to serve 15 to 66 months in prison after entering pleas on 15 charges. Those included guilty pleas to second-degree aggravated domestic assault, interference with access to emergency services and 12 violations of his conditions of release. Forbes also pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of domestic assault.

In September, State Police said Forbes assaulted a woman while strangling her in Townshend. The woman told police she "completely lost the ability to breathe for approximately 20 seconds," court documents say.

In January, Forbes was accused of assaulting the woman again, this time in Brattleboro. He has been ordered to undergo domestic-violence counseling.

-- Ryan Smith, 32, entered pleas to a dozen charges including guilty pleas to disturbing the peace by phone, four violations of an abuse-prevention order and six violations of his conditions of release. Smith, a former Ludlow resident, also pleaded no contest to operating a vehicle without the owner's consent.

After being served with a relief-from-abuse order in July, Smith had been accused of repeatedly text-messaging and calling a woman whom he had been ordered to have no contact with.

Police had noted that the contacts had been happening "numerous times a day."

Smith made news in August when State Police said he had illegally entered a Saxtons River home and fled the state with a vehicle that did not belong to him. Smith was arrested Aug. 22 in Florida by the Marion County Sheriff's Department and later was returned to Vermont.

His sentencing is pending. The defense has agreed to a minimum of one year in prison, while the state can ask for no more than 14 years to serve.

Mike Faher can be reached at or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.

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