FALL RIVER – A 35-year-old Taunton man was convicted of trafficking heroin and assaulting his girlfriend after a three-day jury trial despite the assault victim’s lack of cooperation in the case, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Dustin Marques was convicted by a jury of his peers of trafficking in excess of 18 grams of heroin, and assault and battery last week in Fall River Superior Court.

On November 22, 2018, the victim went to the Taunton Police Department to report a past abuse from three days prior. She told the police the defendant struck her with his Playstation handheld game controller. During the interview, police took her statement and took photographs of severe bruises on her leg and arm.

When police arrived at the defendant’s Whittenton Street apartment, they witnessed him snorting lines of a powdery white substance. While placing the defendant under arrest, police found a baggie with 28 grams of heroin in his pants pocket.

Shortly after the arrest, the victim became uncooperative with the prosecution and refused to show up for trial during the first two days. When she was finally located by police and brought to the courthouse to testify, she became a hostile witness and testified in a manner to minimize the allegations of assault. Despite her lack of cooperation, Assistant District Attorney Shawn Guilderson was successfully able to get the victim’s initial report and the photographs of her injuries into evidence.

The defendant was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Debra Squires-Lee to serve four years in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised probation.

“I am pleased that the jury held the defendant accountable for assaulting his girlfriend and selling heroin, despite the victim not cooperating,” District Attorney Quinn said. “The defendant has a lengthy record and needs to be kept off the street to protect the public.”

— Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

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