Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Franklin
Heard: October 3, 2017
motion to withdraw pleas of guilty, filed on May 14, 2015,
was heard by William F. Mazanec, III, J. The Supreme Judicial
Court granted an application for direct appellate review.
Gauthier for the defendant.
Cynthia M. Von Flatern, Assistant District Attorney, for the
Present (Sitting at Greenfield): Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy,
Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.
2014, the defendant pleaded guilty to three counts of
indecent assault and battery on a person age fourteen or
older. One year later, the defendant moved to withdraw his
guilty pleas, contending that plea counsel was
constitutionally ineffective because plea counsel failed to
advise him of the duty to register as a sex offender, and its
consequences, or explain that he might have sought a
continuance without a finding. A judge in the District Court,
who had also been the plea judge, denied the defendant's
motion, finding the defendant's affidavit and assertions
defendant appealed from the denial of his motion, and we
granted his motion for direct appellate review. We conclude
that the motion judge correctly determined that the defendant
did not satisfy the prejudice requirement of the
Saferian test. See Commonwealth v.
Saferian, 366 Mass. 89 (1974). We therefore affirm the
decision of the judge in denying the defendant's motion
to withdraw his guilty pleas.
summarize the following facts from findings made by the judge
and other undisputed record materials, reserving certain
details for discussion of the legal issues.
7, 2014, the defendant, Aaron Lastowski, tendered guilty
pleas on three counts of indecent assault and battery on a
person age fourteen or older in violation of G. L. c. 265,
§ 13H. As part of his pleas, the defendant was required
to submit a tender of plea or admission and waiver of rights
form. The plea judge first had the defendant acknowledge that
the form had the defendant's signature and that the
signature manifested his having read and understood the
paragraphs regarding his waiver of rights.
this acknowledgment, the prosecutor presented the factual
basis for the charges. According to the prosecutor, if the
Commonwealth took this case to trial, it would have been able
to prove the following facts.
7, 2013, the first victim reported to the Montague police
department that she had been sexually assaulted at the
Hillcrest Homes apartment complex in the Turners Falls area
of Montague. The next day, Detective William Doyle of the
Montague police department spoke with her. She stated that
the defendant had approached her with an alcoholic drink in
his hand and had squeezed her breast while stating, "I
really like to squeeze titties when I'm drinking."
She was ...