Ware man goes on trial in alleged rape in Granby

  • GAZETTE FILE PHOTO GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/21/2019 9:21:36 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A former Ware tow truck driver who has been indicted in the alleged rapes of multiple women went on trial Tuesday in a February 2018 case in which a woman says that she hid in a Granby swamp to escape her attacker.

Arthur Salsbury, 42, of Ware, is accused of raping a woman in Dufresne Park in Granby in the early morning hours of Feb. 23, 2018. He is charged with two counts of aggravated rape and one count of kidnapping.

In her opening statement, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Suhl said Salsbury’s accuser had a conversation with someone on the dating app Tinder, where the topic of exchanging sex for money was discussed.

Suhl said the woman got into a car with Salsbury in Holyoke, believing he was the person with whom she had been communicating. However, after getting into the car, Suhl said, the accuser realized “she was not in a good situation.”

Suhl said Salsbury was drinking whiskey and snorting cocaine, and that the accuser asked him to take her home.

“But the driver did not do that,” Suhl told the jury.

Instead, Salsbury took the woman to Dufresne Park where he raped her, Suhl alleged.

Suhl said Salsbury told his accuser that if she was good enough he would take her home. When the accuser got the chance to get away, Suhl said, she ran for her life, and ended up hiding in a swamp for about an hour.

She then made her way to the home of Michael and Lucy Lynch, which abuts the park, where Suhl said she told Lucy Lynch that she had been raped, and the police were called.

Salsbury’s attorney, David Mintz, said the accuser’s statements to police about what happened in the park have been inconsistent. He said jurors would see evidence that would call the accuser’s version of events into question.

“There’s a dispute here, and it needs to be resolved,” Mintz said.

Lucy and Michael Lynch both testified following opening statements. The 911 call from Lucy Lynch and the accuser was also played.

Lucy Lynch described how she heard taps on one of her windows, and that when she walked over she discovered the accuser outside of the window.

“She said, ‘I have been repeatedly raped, and I got away and I was hiding in the woods for hours,’” Lynch said.

She said the woman was shivering, but still coherent when she spoke. Lynch also described her as being covered in mud.

“She had twigs and stuff in her hair,” said Lucy Lynch.

In the 911 call, the woman reported she has been raped, and that she hid in the swamp.

“I’m soaking wet, I’m cold,” she said through sobs.

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

Gary Darling, an officer with the Massachusetts State Police, who was part of the investigation of the alleged rapes, also testified.

​​​​​​Salsbury was indicted on charges related to the alleged rapes of five women last year. Charges related to three of the alleged victims have been dropped, while the commonwealth is proceeding with charges related to the other two in separate trials. Salsbury’s current trial is his first.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.




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