Underage Drinking & the Law

What parents need to know now about the new Social Host Laws

Ex-Selectman Elworthy found not guilty

Mark Elworthy was found not guilty by a six member jury in Massachusetts’ Fitchburg District Court today. Elworthy, formerly a Clinton town selectman and currently a member of the finance committee, came home from dinner one Saturday evening to a nightmare that just ended today, 15 months later.

Video from December 14, 2011 NECN.com
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According to Worcester MA Telegram & Gazette staff reporter Karen Nugent, “The charge stems from a December 2010 party at Mr. Elworthy’s 62 Highland St., Clinton, home organized by his son, Zachary Elworthy, after a high school super bowl victory.”

Cody Riekstins, who pled the Fifth Amendment at the trial and didn’t testify, had been found beaten and unconscious in the street. He apparently had gotten into a fight when several of the guests objected to the way he physically and verbally treated his date, sister to one of the guests at the party. According to News 7 WHDH, Riekstins said, “There was a lot of booze involved. You mix that with emotions and you get a terrible outcome.”

Elworthy was not present when police arrived although he let them in when they reached him by cellphone. He had been quoted on several news outlets stating he had been out all evening, came home to find the teens drinking and kicked them out. He was unaware of Riekstins’ beating, which was interrupted on the street by a neighbor, more than thirty minutes after Elworthy had ended the party.

To learn more:

Clinton man found not guilty in social host case – Fitchburg, MA – Telegram & Gazette

Seventh Clinton teenager arraigned in Dec. 4 beating – Clinton, MA – The Times & Courier

Victim of beating in Clinton speaks out – News 7 WHDH

Former selectman under fire for underage drinking party – NECN.com

One comment on “Ex-Selectman Elworthy found not guilty

  1. JamFest 16
    March 12, 2012

    Punishing the innocent doesn’t seem like a reasonable deterrent to underage drinking. Mark Elworthy was not even home at the time of the party and yet finds himself facing charges. “Not guilty” was the right verdict but “not charged” would have been more just.

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