A city councilor from Everett, Massachusetts appeared in court on Thursday to face accusations he inappropriately touched a fellow city councilor.
Everett city councilor Jimmy Tri Le has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Tri Le was quick to hide his face and turn away from the camera when he exited the Malden District Court on Thursday. He then sprinted through the bushes to avoid NBC10 Boston's and NECN's Katie Brace as she tried to ask questions.
“The Commonwealth is asking for a stay away or no contact with the alleged victim,” prosecutors said in court.
The alleged victim is a female city councilor. Tri Le faces charges of indecent assault and battery. The judge made the documents private, but sources said Tri Le is accused of groping his colleague in front of several witnesses. It happened when the two attended a St. Patrick’s Day event at the Schiavo Club on March 11. Sources also said there is video of Tri Le groping the other councilor’s buttocks.
“It’s political. It’s all politically motivated,” said Michael Kelly, Tri Le’s attorney.
We asked Kelley why the councilor chose to run from our cameras. This was the response.
“Because he doesn’t want to talk to you guys,” said Kelly.
When further pressed on whether Tri Le owes the public a comment on these allegations, given his status as a public servant, Kelly pushed back.
"Absolutely not," he said.
Because the crime is sexual in nature, the city councilor who accused Tri Le does not want to be identified yet. She said in a statement: “It is incredibly frustrating and sad that in this day and age women still have to justify how assault is not okay. Touching women inappropriately is not a joke, it is not business as usual, and it should not be normalized.”
The judge ordered Tri Le to stay away from the alleged victim. At this time, it is unclear how the Everett city council meetings will work.