Probation officer denies domestic assault charge
BRATTLEBORO — A Bennington County probation and parole officer is still on the job after he pleaded not guilty last week to charges of domestic assault.
James Edwards, 53, of Sunderland was arraigned July 1 in Windham County Superior Court for an incident that allegedly took place in Londonderry on June 30.
Edwards was ordered not to have any contact with the alleged victim in the case, nor abuse or harass her in any way.
He was ordered to stay 300 feet away from her, her residence as well as her place of employment and her vehicle, according to the conditions set by Judge John Treadwell.
According to court documents, the victim said Edwards showed up at her home in Londonderry and they got into an argument over an iPad. The woman told Vermont State Police that she was willing to give Edwards the iPad but she needed to clear her personal information off the tablet computer.
Edwards allegedly grabbed her and "tossed" her out of the way, and she fell.
As he was leaving the residence, he grabbed a large shovel, made threatening statements and threatened her and her home with it. "The victim advised that in this moment, she feared for her life and or serious injury," court records stated.
The woman told police he had assaulted her a couple of years ago and pulled her arm out of its socket.
"She advised that the defendant is a probation officer and has threatened that because of his position, no one could take her report seriously. The victim advised that she was reluctant to call and report today's assault for this same reasoning," court documents stated.
The woman provided Vermont State Police with photos of her bruised arm.
Edwards told state police that the woman had initiated the physical altercation, and also acknowledged the incident involving the shovel.
The Bennington Department of Corrections office referred a reporter to the Department of Human Resources.
Christine Trombley, an official with the Vermont Department of Human Resources, confirmed that Edwards was still a state employee and working for the Department of Corrections, but she said she could not give any more detail. "Everything is on a case by case basis," she said.
Contact Susan Smallheer at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802 254-2311, ext. 154.
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