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Nashua man cleared of child assault charges

NASHUA — A local man has been cleared of charges that he caused multiple injuries to a young child nearly two years ago.

In 2012, Zachary Cassista, now 25, was indicted on five counts of second-degree assault accusing him of causing bruises to a 22-month-old boy that required hospitalization.

Judge Jacalyn Colburn of the Hillsborough County Superior Court dropped all charges against Cassista, of 11 Demanche St.

Court documents indicate that while Cassista was out on bail last year — and while he had no contact with the victim because of bail conditions — revelations about possible new assaults on the boy were made by investigators with the Division of Children Youth and Families.

Attorney Kent Barker has argued from the start of Cassista's case that none of the indictments specified the manner or method of the child's bruising, and that medical reports were never provided to describe the detailed injuries.

Barker unsuccessfully attempted to have the indictments dismissed last year, saying there were multiple people who had access to the child, there was no direct evidence of guilt, no fractures, no way to judge the age of the bruises and that the allegations were sparse and overly broad.

The child, identified as B.G. in court documents, had suffered bruises to his penis, ear, back, feet and hands that required hospitalization. Police alleged that Cassista was babysitting the child — his girlfriend's son at the time — during spring break in March 2012 when the injuries occurred.

The boy's mother, Rebecca Gulliver, of 2 Prospect Ave., told police that when she returned home from work on March 15, 2012, her son woke up from a nap with multiple bruises on various parts of his body, according to court records.

She took the boy to Elliot Hospital in Manchester, and was told by medical officials to take the child to Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts the following day.

After numerous hematology tests were conducted on the child, Dr. Celeste Wilson determined there was no medical condition causing the bruising, but that it was a case of child abuse, according to an affidavit.

During questioning, Cassista denied any type of assault to the boy, according to court documents.

khoughton@newstote.com


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