LOWELL – Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced that Kirk Austin, 46, of Lowell, was sentenced Friday in Lowell Superior Court after being found guilty of kidnapping, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a child under the age of 14, assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, strangulation, assault and battery on a family or household member, assault and battery, stalking and witness intimidation.
Judge Heidi Brieger sentenced the defendant to six to eight years in State Prison to be followed by five years probation. Judge Brieger ordered the defendant to stay away from, and have no contact with, the victim or her children, to consume no alcohol or drugs, to undergo mental health evaluations and to complete a drug rehabilitation program.
“During the course of their 17 year relationship, the defendant repeatedly subjected his girlfriend and their children to domestic assaults,” said District Attorney Ryan. “These convictions held the defendant responsible for several such incidents and also for attempting to prevent the victim from seeking help from the police.”
On July 20, 2015, at approximately 5:15 p.m. Lowell Police responded to a report of a domestic assault. Upon arrival, the victim told authorities that on July 19 the defendant had struck her multiple times resulting in injuries to her back, head, knee and shin. The victim explained that the night before, after she asked the defendant to leave her home on Sixth Street in Lowell, the defendant beat her and then physically stopped the victim from leaving the apartment. He was so intent on ensuring that she remained in the house that he followed her to the bathroom in the middle of the night. During the assault the defendant also subjected the victim to verbal abuse and prevented the victim’s attempts to call the police by physically taking her phone. The victim’s youngest child was present during this assault.
The next morning, the defendant instructed the victim to go to the store at which time she and her son fled the house. The victim was then taken to a local-area hospital. While at the hospital, the victim was approached by the defendant who asked whether she had contacted police. The defendant then fled the hospital.
The defendant had a long history of abusing the victim as well as her son. Many of these instances happened in front of the victim’s other children. In addition to the incident from July 20, 2015, this jury also convicted the defendant of four prior assaults on the victim spanning six years and his continuous pattern of conduct and threats which caused her to suffer substantial emotional distress. The defendant was also convicted of abusing his son by beating him with a cable cord.
The prosecutors assigned to this case were Assistant District Attorneys Suzanne Kontz and Emily Jackson. The Victim Witness Advocate was Dora Quiroz.
District Attorney Ryan is deeply committed to preventing domestic violence and protecting victims. In addition to prosecuting numerous domestic violence cases, District Attorney Ryan is dedicated to implementing initiatives to prevent instances of domestic violence and to raising awareness about identifying the signs of abuse and educating victims and the public about resources available. A list of domestic violence resources is available here: http://middlesexda.com/faq/resources.php.