By Josh Resnek
No word yet from Councilor Jimmy Tri Le or his lawyer about how exactly they are going to handle allegations that he committed an act of sexual assault on a colleague in government at a St. Patrick’s Day time at the Schiavo Club.
Le plead not guilty at his arraignment last week in Malden District Court.
Questions have arisen about Le, and whether or not he can continue to be a councilor if he cannot attend the meetings.
According to several lawyers the Leader Herald spoke with, there is some question about a protective order issued intending to keep Le away from the city councilor he allegedly assaulted.
The victim asserts that he placed his hands on her buttocks and that he tried to give her a second unwanted kiss. She said Le quite often would greet her with traditional kisses on both cheeks.
Reporters have not seen the protective report which likely indicates to what extent Le is not allowed to go near the woman who made the complaint against him.
Council President John Hanlon indicated Le cannot attend meetings in person or on Zoom. However it is not known if Hanlon read the protective order.
Le cannot sit next to the victim at council meetings as he tended to do before she submitted charges against him.
A protective order can go as far as to limit Le’s participation in council meetings on Zoom.
Although appearing on Zoom meets the distance requirement, it does not stop Le from having discussions, arguments, or differences of opinion with the woman he allegedly assaulted.
Protective orders in general are issued to make certain strict requirements are followed for the victim not to be further assaulted in any way by the alleged assailant.
In other words, Le cannot communicate with his victim, the fellow city councilor.
He is not allowed to e-mail, text or call her on a cell phone.
Such intrusions into her privacy and protection could result in further legal entanglements.
This could invalidate Le’s ability to attend meetings by Zoom from a neutral location.
If Le cannot attend meetings, he will be forced to resign if the city council pays attention to the dictates of the city charter.
The city charter requires attendance to maintain membership on the council.
After a specified number of consecutive missed meetings during the same legislative session, any councilor can be forced to resign.
Without attendance, after a certain number of meetings have been missed, Le must resign.
However, the city council has shown no appetite to pay close attention or even passing attention to the city charter.