A Vineyard Haven man is scheduled to face trial in Dukes County Superior Court later this month for allegedly raping a New Hampshire woman in the summer of 2004. Richard J. Skrypczyk, 60 was indicted by a grand jury last April on a charge of rape following an incident that occurred after a wedding three years ago.
Mr. Skrypczyk’s trial is set to begin Oct. 15.
The Hon. C. Brian McDonald, an associate justice of the superior court, will preside over that case and the rest of the five-week fall court session, which opened this week in the Edgartown courthouse. A Dukes County grand jury convened on Monday to consider several new criminal indictments, and is scheduled to reconvene on Oct. 22.
Among the criminal charges for the current superior court session is a non-evidentiary suppression hearing for Scott Donavan, the Vineyard Haven man accused of raping an Island woman at knife point last August. Mr. Donavan’s attorney Thomas J. Mello is seeking to block non-evidentiary information gathered by police during the investigation. The motion to suppress is slated for this morning.
Lillian Haigazian, 55, of Edgartown, who is accused of stealing over $90,000 from an elderly woman whom she was hired to care for, is scheduled for a plea change on Oct. 1.
In April, Ms. Haigazian was indicted by a grand jury on nine counts: larceny of a credit card, misuse of a credit card, two charges of uttering, two charges of forgery and three charges of larceny pursuant to a single scheme of someone over the age of 60.
She pleaded not guilty to all nine charges.
Among the civil cases on the docket is a jury-waived trial against the town of West Tisbury over property rights and public access to the ancient way known as Roger’s Path. The lawsuit was brought by Robert and Tracey Smith, as trustees of RTS Realty Trust on behalf of five other plaintiffs.
The ancient path runs from State Road near the North Road intersection to South Indian Hill Road. Along the way the path passes a town cemetery with graves dating back several hundred years.
The town signed a land management agreement with the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank in November of 2001 that allows the land use agency to enter the path and maintain it and allow access by the general public.
The plaintiffs maintain that a portion of the path running across their properties has never been open to the public, and allege that the town’s agreement with the land bank violated their property rights. Town officials have countered that the town has had historic rights to the path because it serves as the sole means of access to a town-owned cemetery, and because of a general public use that dates back as far as 1809.
Trial is set to begin on Oct. 11.