Kalman K. Brattman has been convicted of assault, as noted in the July 20, 2006 article on the Newhouse News Service by Jonathon Tilove:
“In 1979, acting as his own counsel, he was convicted of assaulting a college student with intent to rape. Court records show Brattman pulled a stranger into his Harvard Square apartment and began attacking her until, frantic, she told him she didn't believe in premarital sex. He let her go.
“Again representing himself, Brattman overturned the verdict on appeal, because the judge had misdefined "rape." Brattman was subsequently retried, and in 1982 found guilty of assault. He was given a six-month suspended sentence.”
Following are excerpts of the court records from 1980:
I- COMMONWEALTH v. KALMAN K. BRATTMAN
[NO NUMBER IN ORIGINAL]
Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex
10 Mass. App. Ct. 579; 410 N.E.2d 720; 1980 Mass. App. LEXIS 1342
March 18, 1980, Argued
September 30, 1980, Decided
PRIOR HISTORY: [***1]
Indictment found and returned in the Superior Court Department on
December 12, 1978.
The case was tried before Young, J.
HEADNOTES: Rape. Practice, Criminal, Failure to make objection, Directed verdict, Instructions to jury. Evidence, Hospital record.
SYLLABUS: At the trial of a defendant charged with assault with intent to commit rape, evidence that the defendant had committed an assault and battery on the victim, had attempted to restrain her, and had made sexual advances to the victim against her will was sufficient to warrant denial of the defendant's motion for a directed verdict. [580-582]
At the trial of a defendant charged with assault with intent to commit rape, the judge's definition of rape as including "various types of touching so long as there is penetration, however slight, of a bodily orifice" …
COUNSEL: Kalman K. Brattman, pro se.
Robert M. Raciti, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.
JUDGES: Brown, Dreben, & Kass, JJ.
OPINION BY: DREBEN
OPINION: [*579] [**721] After a jury [***2] trial, the defendant was convicted on an indictment charging assault with intent to commit rape …
We summarize the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth. The complainant was stopped on September 11, 1978, in Harvard Square by the defendant, who asked her for directions. She answered that she didn't know the area well and was herself looking for the post office. The defendant said he knew where it was and offered to take her there. She accepted and while they were walking together, the defendant grabbed her by the arm, pulled her into a building, and told her he wanted to show her something. She became fearful. [***5] The defendant next placed his hand in the small of her back and ushered her first into the elevator and then into his apartment. Once inside, he urged her to sit down. While she was sitting on the couch, the defendant approached her, told her "how radiant" she was, that he wanted to see her eyes, and took off her glasses. He then grabbed her shoulders, pushed her down on the couch, got on top of her and attempted to kiss her. Frightened, the complainant fought back, pushed his face away and told him to stop. The defendant would not get up. He got his hand inside her blouse and squeezed her left breast. She felt his hand near her belt. She began to talk very fast and told him that she did not believe in "premarital sex". The defendant then stopped. He said that he thought "that was wonderful". After telling her a story about a woman who had similar beliefs as to premarital sex, only to discover after marriage that her husband was impotent, the defendant permitted the complainant to leave the apartment.
The complainant was upset and on her way back to her dormitory was almost hit by a car. At the dormitory, a fellow student saw her crying hysterically. The complainant [***6] related that she had been attacked and that someone had tried to rape her. The fellow student informed the college administration, and the police took the complainant [**723] to the University Health Services. The complainant repeated the story of her attack to the police. The medical records of the University Health Services indicate that the complainant had trauma to her left breast.
[*582] We cannot say, as a matter of law, that the evidence was so slight that the defendant's motion for a required finding of not guilty should have been granted. There was evidence of an assault and battery and of an attempt to restrain the complainant. Contrast Commonwealth v. Merrill, 14 Gray 415, 417 (1860). There was evidence of a struggle and also evidence that the defendant had made sexual advances to the victim against her will. …
The general definition of rape in G. L. c. 277, § 39 (as appearing in St. 1974, c. 474, § 7), namely, "[s]exual [***9] intercourse or unnatural sexual intercourse by a person with another person who is compelled to submit by force and against his will or by threat of bodily injury", was given more specificity in Commonwealth v. Gallant, 373 Mass. 577, 581-585 (1977). …
The judge's definition of rape left the jury free to find an intent to commit rape if the defendant had intended to force his tongue into the victim's mouth or into her ear, or to commit other acts of touching involving the penetration of any orifice. There was evidence of the use of force by the defendant to attempt to kiss the victim, to touch her breasts and other parts of her body… While the evidence was sufficient to withstand the defendant's motion for a directed verdict and thus warranted a finding of intent to commit rape, the evidence also warranted a finding that the defendant intended to use force to commit acts short of rape in the [***12] hope of convincing the victim to consent to normal intercourse (i.e. that the victim's ”no" would gradually become "yes"). …
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n5 There is no question that the defendant acted most foolishly in this regard. See Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45, 69 (1932). A review of the transcript in this case shows that the tasks of the judge and the jury were made far more difficult by the rambling discourses and useless objections of the defendant. We note that the judge, despite the burden imposed upon him, was most solicitous of the defendant's rights throughout the trial and showed the utmost patience and courtesy.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -End Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - - [***14]
For a court summary of the case, Commonwealth v. Kalman K. Brattman, March 18, 1980 – September 30, 1980, Middlesex County: