2012-02-02 / News

Boat captain pleads guilty to federal assault charges

Richard Wetherell pleaded guilty on Jan. 27 in federal court to assaulting two women on board his commercial fishing boat in waters off the coast of New Bedford in July 2010.

Wetherell, 61, of Jamestown, was the captain of JV Jessica & Susan, a Massachusetts-registered fishing vessel, when he physically assaulted the at-sea monitors on two separate trips. The federal monitors boarded his boat in an attempt to collect data under the terms of the nation’s marine fisheries law.

Wetherell pleaded guilty in a Boston federal court before Chief Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein to charges of physical assault, impeding, intimidating or interfering with the duties of the monitors.

Sentencing is scheduled for April. The defendant can face up to six months in prison and a fine of $100,000 for each count.

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