Closing arguments set for Friday in Salsbury rape trial

  • Arthur E. Salsbury Jr., standing left, appears in Hampshire Superior Court, May 29, 2018. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/24/2019 12:32:55 AM
Modified: 5/24/2019 12:32:45 AM

NORTHAMPTON — The final witnesses took the stand Thursday on the third day of the rape trial of Arthur E. Salsbury Jr. before the prosecution and defense rested their cases.

Salsbury, 42, of Ware, is accused of raping a woman in Dufresne Park in Granby on Feb. 23, 2018. He is on trial in Hampshire Superior Court for two counts of aggravated rape and one count of kidnapping.

Salsbury’s accuser testified Wednesday that she got into a car with Salsbury in Holyoke, thinking he was a man she had talked to on the dating website Tinder where the topic of money for sex was discussed. However, she testified, Salsbury subsequently refused to take her home, drove them to Dufresne Park and raped her.

The accuser testified that she escaped to and hid in a nearby swamp. Later, she went to a nearby home and asked for assistance.

As a matter of policy, the Gazette does not identify alleged victims of rape and sexual assault.

Jennifer Sattler, a detective with the Holyoke Police Department, testified Thursday that she showed the accuser a photo array on April 10, 2018, and that the accuser picked out Salsbury’s picture with what she wrote was 100 percent certainty.

James White, an officer with the Granby Police Department who was the lead investigator on the case, also testified about his interactions with the accuser on Feb. 23, 2018. He said the woman gave him information about the alleged incident and he described the collection of evidence used in the case, including cigarettes taken from the park as well as the accuser’s clothing, which was left at the Granby home where she sought help.

White also described interviewing Salsbury at the Ware Police Department, and a portion of the interview was played for the jury.

In the interview, Salsbury said he had only been to Dufresne Park once, during a fair there with his family “a year or two ago.” When asked if there was any chance the police would find cigarettes with his DNA on them in the park, Salsbury said, “I don’t know.”

“I don’t remember ever going there,” he said.

On cross-examination, Salsbury’s attorney, David Mintz, asked White about a DNA sample obtained by Holyoke police of the accuser, and the decision not to transport it to the state crime lab.

“Essentially, it just sat at the Holyoke Police Department,” Mintz said.

White testified that he had not observed any injuries on the woman.

He was also questioned about her decision not to submit to a medical examination after reporting the rape.

Under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Suhl, White said he didn’t require the accuser to undergo an examination at the hospital, saying the process can take hours.

“It’s a lot to ask,” said White, who described it as a “time consuming, invasive procedure.”

Taylor Federchook, Tracy Breton, and Kimberly Harrington-Dean of the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory all testified Thursday on DNA evidence in the case. Federchook testified to making Salsbury’s DNA profile, while Breton testified to preparing a cutting of a cigarette recovered from the park, which was submitted for DNA testing.

Harrington-Dean said she found that Salsbury was a potential contributor to the DNA profile from the cutting. She also said there was a second contributor that was most likely a woman.

In 2018, Salsbury was indicted on charges related to the alleged rapes of five different women. Charges related to three of the alleged victims have been dropped, while the commonwealth is going forward with two trials. Salsbury’s current trial is his first in these matters.

The trial will continue Friday, with closing statements from the prosecution and defense, after which the case will go to the jury.

Bera Dunau can be reached at

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