Massachusetts News

Albrizio Is Prosecuted By District Attorney

But He’s Out On $300 Bail

Massachusetts News
By Nev Moore
May 27, 2000

When we discovered what had been happening, I took Kathleen and her files over to the district attorney’s office, along with another woman from our organization. 

We met with Assistant District Attorneys Michael O’Keefe and Brian Glenny, who expressed their surprise that DSS had not brought this information to them. They opened an investigation with Sergeant William Burke of the C-PAC unit at the State police as lead investigator. The investigation lasted about a year, a terribly long time for a mother to wait for vindication for her children. 

My personal fears revolved around how many more children might be receiving Albrizio’s attentions. Although the time involved in the investigation was frustrating, it is a tribute to Sgt. Burke’s meticulous, thorough professionalism. Sgt.Burke called Kathleen now and then to let her know that the case was progressing. It was the kind of small act of kindness that kept Kathleen alive emotionally. Here was at least one person who cared about her children, who sought justice for what they had endured, and who treated their mother as a human being who mattered. 

It was discovered during the investigation that Joshua had a calcified hematoma on his head and had suffered a mild stroke that had gone undetected. In September of 1999, Steven Albrizio was charged on nine counts of assault and battery on the children. He was given $3,000 bail. So he walked out of court a free man after giving them $300 cash, free to continue abusing children as his case gets delayed and continued. I often wonder, if it had been a parent who tortured their children in this fashion, how much more aggressively this case would have been prosecuted. 

Newspapers Get Involved

The Cape Cod Times and the Boston Herald ran coverage of Albrizio’s arraignment. In the course of their coverage the Cape Cod Times called Commissioner Locke’s office repeatedly for a statement. There was no response, or even acknowledgment, of their calls. This angered the publishers of the Times, who printed an editorial entitled: "An Arrogant Agency," that stated, "A good place to start reforming the beleaguered agency could be to target the arrogance that allows it to act as if it owes the public no explanation of its policies and procedures, and no acknowledgement of its errors or assurances that they will be corrected." The Times indignantly continued, "The agency still refuses to answer any questions regarding its handling of the case. It has refused to even acknowledge repeated daily phone calls from the Times."

The only response was a flip comment from DSS spokesman, David VaRLamm. The Times published a response letter from me in which I commented on how interesting it was that the Times was infuriated at being treated by DSS with the same arrogance and siege mentality that the parents have received for years. 

The Boston Herald reported, "DSS Tightlipped About Wrestler Accused of Beating Children". Their article read: "Although the case raises questions about whether DSS knew of Albrizio’s long and violent record when it allowed him to care for the children, DSS has failed to answer them." 

Comm. Locke Lies

In response to the criticism and public exposure, Commissioner Locke traveled to the Cape Cod Times offices in Hyannis for a face-to-face meeting with the three reporters who had covered the story. In the September 29 edition the meeting was covered in an article entitled, "DSS Admits Error in Abuse Case." Before I read the article I thought we might have actually achieved a moment of accountability from DSS. Not so. Locke found a way to put a spin on the interview with an aw-shucks-maam-we-surely-did-goof-up-on-this-one-and-we-feel-just-terrible-about-this-whole-deal kind of thing. He made DSS appear humble about admitting an honest mistake. 

The only problem is that he was lying through his teeth. He may have been just relaying what he’s been told by the people beneath him. However, the point is that Cellucci is telling us (the public) that he put Jeffrey Locke in as commissioner to clean up the agency. Therefore, Locke should not rely on information from agency employees whose ineptitude and corruption have made the agency what it is. He claimed that "the agency ‘dropped the ball’ when checking the background of a Dennis man charged with abusing his ex-girlfriend’s three children." Locke claimed that "the agency did not properly check its own computer registry to find the previous accusations of child abuse by Albrizio." He continued that as soon as social workers learned of Albrizio’s past, they acted and removed the children. Locke humbly admitted that (here comes the spin) "a check of the agency’s own computer registry either was not done or was done improperly." 

Proof That Locke Lied

The problem with Locke’s interview is that we have the DSS records, dated December 6, 1996, showing that DSS did know Albrizio’s criminal background at the time they approved him as caretaker of the children. His Central Registry record also appears on these documents, listing him as a perpetrator in three other child abuse cases in 1980, 1988, and 1990. His criminal record, up to 1996, includes 108 arraignments including many restraining order violations from multiple women, no-trespass violations from businesses, threats to commit murder, and intimidating witnesses. We had given copies of these documents to the Cape Cod Times reporters and editors long before they had their meeting with Locke. They did not confront him with these discrepancies in his statements. After all, DSS was responding to them, so that’s what was important, not the truth of the response. 

When Locke claimed that as soon as they knew of the abuse of the children they removed them, his error is that the children did not disclose the abuse until after they had been removed and had been in foster care for several weeks. According to DSS’ own petition to the court the children were removed due to inadequate housing, poverty issues and missing too much school. Another glaring inconsistency is in Locke’s statement that "if they knew of Albrizio’s violent criminal record they would have taken the children much sooner." 

DSS Allowes Albrizio To Continue

Now that they are unable to say they "don’t know" and Albrizio is out on bail in this sadistic child abuse case, Albrizio is living with yet another woman and her young children who are under the care and protection of the DSS! 

The reason that DSS, self-proclaimed protectors of our children, did not go to the police and the district attorney’s office once Kathleen’s children disclosed the abuse perpetrated upon them by Albrizio is unclear. Are they happy that Albrizio is breaking up families so that they can put the children up for adoption? Or have they realized their responsibility and potential liability in this case? Did they cover it up, secure in their belief that no one would ever see these records? By approving Albrizio as a caretaker, they not only put the children at risk but created a situation where the children were actually tortured. The potential liability and damages did not escape their attention. The way to cover it up was to snatch the kids, separate them, push the mother out of the picture (as she would have been had she gone into the shelter as they demanded and ended up homeless on the streets), and rush them into separate adoptive homes. As far as they were concerned, they were confident that their secret would never come to light. Since this case, it is now virtually impossible for anyone to get their DSS case files.