Must complete sexual harassment training, stay away from victim
By The Advocate
Ward 4 Councillor Jimmy Tri Le pleaded to sufficient facts on Tuesday to indecent assault & battery on a person 14 or older at a Middlesex Superior Court appearance in Medford on Tuesday. Tri Le was already ordered to stay away and have no contact with the victim – fellow Ward 2 Councillor Stephanie Martins – since the March 2022 incident. Tri Le, who has recently announced his re-election candidacy, had been ordered to stay away and have no contact with Councillor Martins since 2022, particularly if she is present in the City Council Chambers.
Martins filed a police report following the March 11, 2022, incident at the Schiavo Club, where an event was being held and attended by local and state politicians. According to a follow-up report taken on March 18, 2022, Martins came into the police station to be interviewed by Detective Joseph Furtado of the Everett Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Unit, who stated that while she was attending the event Tri Le approached her and grabbed her head with two hands and pulled her face towards his, kissing her on the left cheek. After pulling away from him, Tri Le attempted to kiss her again but instead slapped her buttocks as she walked away.
According to the report, the kiss was unwanted and she had told Tri Le on more than one occasion that she does not want him kissing her. When asked what happened after she was struck by Tri Le, “the victim stated that she was shocked and that Mr. Le just walked away in the opposite direction.”
Martins stated that after the incident Tri Le sent her a text message with a kissy face emoji stating, “That’s for calling me an asshole.”
State Representative Daniel Ryan witnessed Tri Le striking Martins’ lower back when he was holding the door as he was walking ahead of her into the lounge area. Martins stated to Ryan after witnessing the slap that she is uncomfortable around Tri Le.
Tri Le was then contacted by Det. Furtado by telephone to request an interview with the councillor. Tri Le met with the detective at a coffee shop on Broadway and gave a tape-recorded interview outside in the unmarked police cruiser. Tri Le consented to the interview and was read his Miranda rights. During the interview, Tri Le admitted that he did hit her in the lower back area but didn’t mean it, saying to the detective, “That you know in your mind she has a body and every guy can see that,” adding, “I know if [sic] were a guy I would, but not me.”
Det. Furtado then went to the Schiavo Club and retrieved the videotape from the date and time of the incident, which showed Martins and Rep. Ryan talking to people in the lounge when Tri Le could be seen walking up to Martins and kissing her on the cheek. As she turns away to walk out the door, Tri Le can be seen, reaching in and grabbing Martins by the face, attempting to kiss her on both cheeks. The report continues, stating, “The victim appears to be struggling to get away from Mr. Le.”
Tri Le could then be seen leaning in through the doorway, slapping her buttocks with an open hand. “This did not appear to be accidental,” stated the report. The video was entered into evidence. A criminal complaint was filed for indecent assault & battery given the evidence.
On Tuesday, Tri Le, who had waived his right to a jury trial, pleaded guilty following testimony by Det. Furtado, where the judge ruled it as sufficient facts found but continued without a finding until Sept. 26, 2024; he is ordered to stay away and have no contact with the victim; and complete sexual harassment training.
Tri Le, who is seeking reelection, will continue to stay away from the City Council Chambers due to the judge’s ruling.