Five felonies filed in alleged Brattleboro assaults


BRATTLEBORO -- A Brattleboro man faces four charges that carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment after police said he repeatedly assaulted a woman over a nine-day period.

Court documents filed against Shawn L. Betit, 34, of South Main Street, include allegations that he sexually assaulted the victim; punched and slapped her; assaulted her with a cane and super glue; and threatened her with a knife and boiling water.

All told, Betit is charged with 12 counts including five felonies. He also was charged as a habitual offender, enhancing the potential penalties he faces if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.

Betit initially was charged with seven counts last week including first-degree aggravated domestic assault, first-degree aggravated domestic assault with a weapon, domestic assault and reckless endangerment.

Police said the victim told them that, from Feb. 22 to March 3, Betit "continually assaulted her and abused her" at her home. She received hospital treatment after the first incident but, at that time, she was "too afraid to tell officers who responded and met with her at the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital what had actually taken place," Officer David Cerreto wrote in an affidavit.

The Reformer does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The woman was "beaten about the head and punched in the stomach," police said, and her "injuries corroborated her story."

During a later incident, Betit dragged the woman by her shirt and punched her in the face, court documents say.

At one point, "Betit threw (the victim) on the bed and departed, returning with a kitchen knife," the affidavit says. "Betit, holding the knife in his right hand, pointed the knife at (the victim's) abdomen, held his hand over her mouth, pushed her head into the bed really hard, bruising her face, and said that he was going to kill her if she said anything."

Betit also is accused of threatening to throw a pot of boiling water on the woman; kicking her in the jaw, chipping two of her teeth; shoving her into a wall; and smashing her phone.

The first round of charges came last week. On Monday, the Windham County State's Attorney's office added four new charges including aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, first-degree unlawful restraint and interference with access to emergency services. That came as a result of new disclosures from the victim, who said she had been sexually assaulted, court documents show.

According to a police affidavit filed by Detective Lt. Michael Carrier, the woman said Betit had tried to glue parts of her anatomy shut and had assaulted her with a cane.

The victim told police that, during the assaults, "she was trying to make a phone call to get help, but Betit wouldn't let her use the phone or let her have access to the phone," the affidavit says.

According to court documents, Betit is charged as a habitual offender due to past convictions for grand larceny in 2007; burglary and aggravated vehicle operation without owner's consent in 2006; unlawful trespass in 2003; and two burglary counts in 1999.

Additionally, Betit currently is facing a felony count of forgery in an unrelated case. That stems from the October theft of a check in the area of the Brattleboro Drop-In Center, police said.

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


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