LOWELL, Mass. - Prosecutors described a longtime state legislator as a "danger to his community" and "out of control" yesterday after a third woman in as many months accused him of making inappropriate sexual advances.
Sen. James Marzilli, 50, pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that he tried to grope a woman at a park in Lowell, then fled police, and to charges that he made lewd remarks to another woman.
A prosecutor yesterday asked a judge to hold Marzilli without bail for three days.
"The commonwealth feels that the defendant is a danger to the community," prosecutor Richard Mucci said at Marzilli's arraignment. He also said that Marzilli was "out of control at this point."
Lowell District Judge Neil Walker rejected the argument, releasing the lawmaker on $1,500 cash bail.
Authorities were investigating still more allegations, Corey Welford, a spokesman for Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone, said late yesterday.
"We are looking into the possibility of other related incidents that may have occurred in Lowell yesterday [Tuesday] based on others who have now come forward," Welford said.
Marzilli's lawyer, Terrence Kennedy, said that his client "completely and totally denies" the charges.
"I can't comment on the underlying allegations at this point," Kennedy said yesterday. "The only thing I've seen is the police report."
Marzilli, a Democrat who recently made the jump from the House to the Senate, was arrested Tuesday after a woman told police that he approached her while she was sitting on a park bench and tried to grab her crotch. The woman told two maintenance workers, who flagged down police.
When confronted, Marzilli said they were only flirting. Asked for identification, Marzilli said it was in his car.
Police then described a chaotic chase through downtown Lowell as Marzilli fled on foot, racing down streets as pedestrians jumped out of the way. Police eventually tracked Marzilli to a garage where they said that they found him running between parked cars. When confronted, Marzilli refused to be handcuffed.
"He stated his life was over, that they were destroying him," Mucci said. Marzilli also told police, "You don't understand; I am a state senator," according to Mucci.