Ware man gets 9 to 13 ½ years in state prison for second rape

  • Arthur E. Salsbury Jr., 43, of Ware. STAFF PHOTO/MICHAEL CONNORS

Staff Writer
Published: 1/24/2020 2:00:22 PM
Modified: 1/24/2020 2:00:10 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Convicted serial rapist Arthur E. Salsbury Jr. was sentenced to another 9 to 13 ½ years in state prison Friday, a week after Salsbury was found guilty of raping a woman in Granby in 2009. 

Salsbury, 43, of Ware, was originally charged with two counts of aggravated rape but was instead convicted of two lesser charges of rape by a Hampshire Superior Court jury. He was acquitted by the jury of assault with a dangerous weapon. 

Judge Richard Carey ordered that Salsbury’s new sentence will be served after he serves his June 2019 state prison sentence of 9 to 13 ½ years for raping another woman in Granby in 2018, meaning he will serve a total of 18 to 27 years. Carey also sentenced Salsbury to five years probation when he’s released from jail.

Shortly before Salsbury’s sentence was imposed, the survivor described in court how she has “not been the same” since she was raped over a decade ago.

“To know that this was like a hobby for him — he kept coming back for more victims,” she said. “So I’m here to face my attacker and prevent more victims to fall in his trap.”

She asked the judge to impose Salsbury’s new sentence separate from his previous one, saying through tears that although she doesn’t know Salsbury personally, “I do know that this is something he will continue to do, over and over and over. I think the longer he sits in jail, the better it is for other victims, that he will not be able to rape them, or attack them, or abuse them, or take advantage of them.”

The woman previously testified during the trial that Salsbury had raped her in a wooded area off of School Street in Granby on Oct. 3, 2009, after he told her he would give her a ride from Holyoke to Chicopee. As a matter of policy, the Gazette does not typically identify victims of rape or sexual assault.

She had also told the jury on the witness stand that she was addicted to heroin and cocaine at the time of the attack, and that she was also a sex worker. 

“It doesn’t matter the person’s lifestyle,” she said at Salsbury’s sentencing. “Nobody deserves to be raped.”

Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Erin Aiello requested a sentence of 9 to 13 ½ years to be served after the completion of Salsbury’s previous sentence. 

“In this case, the crime, rape, is a true violation of one’s self and one’s being and certainly deserves a sentence to reflect as such,” Aiello said.

After describing Salsbury’s history of violent crimes over a span of 25 years, Aiello said the state was seeking consecutive sentences because “there are two women, two victims both deserving of justice, the same justice as each other.”

David Mintz, Salsbury’s defense attorney, asked Carey to impose a three to five-year state prison sentence to be served after his previously imposed punishment. Mintz also asked for a period of probation after Salsbury’s prison time.

Mintz offered the same testimonials presented at Salsbury’s 2019 sentencing from his family and friends. He called the crimes of which Salsbury was convicted “horrific,” but asked Carey for compassion “if not necessarily for Mr. Salsbury but for his family,” saying Salsbury was already looking at a lengthy time behind bars.

“Mr. Salsbury, standing before you, bound, branded by an unsavory narrative in the form of his convictions on these indictments, and essentially staring down the barrel of the cannon of retribution,” Mintz said. “So I ask myself on his behalf, what would a person ask for under those circumstances? And the only conclusion that I come to is that they would ask for mercy. And that’s what I’m asking for.”

Before he handed down Salsbury’s sentence, Carey rejected Mintz’s characterization of the state’s sentence recommendation as “retribution.”

“The sentence the court will impose is not retribution,” Carey said. “The sentence is, under all of the circumstances in this case, just.”

After Salsbury’s sentencing, Mintz said he was hoping Carey would impose a sentence somewhere between his and the state’s recommendation. Mintz said he will appeal both Salsbury's sentence and conviction as he had done in the previous case; he said he will represent Salsbury until an appellate attorney is appointed to him.

“The way our system works is that when the jury hears a case and find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, then for the record that becomes the truth, and you can’t run away from it,” Mintz said. “The crimes were serious, and the impact (the survivor) spoke of makes perfect sense.”

“I’m not going to say that the sentence wasn’t just or fair, it’s certainly in the ballpark of fairness,” Mintz added later. “But I’m disappointed.”

Northwestern Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Suhl, who prosecuted the case with Aiello, said after the sentencing that she was pleased with the jury’s verdict and Salsbury’s sentence.

“It’s very satisfying that, 11 years later, we were able to get justice for her,” Suhl said about the survivor.

Suhl said she believed it was “important to recognize how difficult it is for a victim of sexual assault to come forward to the police and then pursue a court case.”

“The strength of (the survivor) is really notable, that she went through this process with us,” Suhl said. “...In our view, (we’ve) taken a violent predator off of the streets.”

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 

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