Thursday, April 3, 2008

NORTON – A mental health supervisor at the Judge Rotenberg Center on Shelly Road is in jail after he was charged with raping a fellow employee.Ellison Livingstone, 24, of Providence, was ordered held in jail on $100,000 cash bail after pleading innocent Wednesday to sexually assaulting the woman.

The incident is alleged to have occurred early Sunday in a bathroom at the Rotenberg Center.Assistant District Attorney Jessica Lennon said the woman told police she went on one date with the defendant before breaking off the relationship by text-messaging him that she wanted to go back to a former boyfriend.

After the alleged attack, the woman hid in another room at the facility, and received a text message from the defendant apologizing.

“The defendant sent the victim a text message saying he was sorry about what just happened, saying it was wrong,” Lennon said. She said police have the text messages from the woman’s cell phone as evidence.

But Livingstone’s lawyer, Daniel Rich of Norton, suggested there was no rape, and that the woman was angry at the defendant because another female employee had given her telephone number to him.

Rich said the report was the result of a “love triangle.”Livingstone, who is a Liberian native with no criminal record, has a wife in Liberia and is in the United States under refugee status because of strife in his home country, Rich said.

He was arrested Tuesday after an investigation by Norton detectives Sgt. Thomas Petersen, Stephen Desfosses and Todd Bramwell and Thomas Carroll of the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

The woman reported the incident to another employee, who told her to call police.

The Canton-based Judge Rotenberg Center operates 33 residences for special needs individuals in eight communities, including Attleboro, Mansfield and Rehoboth.

If Livingstone posts bail, Judge Richard Savignano ordered him to surrender any passport or travel documents he has to the court.

A probable cause hearing was scheduled April 29.