WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – A transient man who had been living at a Southampton Road trailer park is being held on bail after his arrest for failing to register as a sex offender.
The man came to the attention of city police May 21 when detectives were asked to assist workers from the Department of Children and Families as they took custody of three children, aged 10, 11, and 12, living with their mother, Wanda Martin, in a trailer at 868 Southampton Road.
Det. Roxanne Bradley reports that the trailer was unfurnished and in disarray. Two cats apparently lived in the trailer, she said, and said that the litter box was overfilled. The resident’s dog had apparently been allowed outside to answer nature’s call, she said. She said that there was electricity in the trailer but no running water and no furniture.
Bradley said that the only things resembling furniture in the trailer were a stove and a refrigerator and the stove wasn’t working. She said “I couldn’t tell you what was in there (the refrigerator) because it looked like they were using it as a trash can” and said there was very little food anywhere in the trailer.
The children had been using the bathroom facilities at two nearby restaurants, Bradley was told, and said that she confirmed the claim with one of the restaurant owners. She said that owner she spoke with said that the children had indeed used his restaurant and said that he thought they had looked hungry. He said that, on one occasion when he asked the children if they were hungry, he gave them a pizza but drew the ire of the man living with their mother who came to his restaurant to object.
Detectives looked closer at the man, Michael L. Asay, 37, of 868 Southampton Road, who had not been home when they assisted as the DCF workers seized the children. Det. Scott Phelon reports that the investigators found that in 2011 Asay had been registered as a level one sexual offender in Worcester due to offenses in Maine but the registration had lapsed and he was listed as a violator.
An Internet search reveals that Asay had been classified as a violent sexual predator after a 1997 conviction in Maine for unlawful sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl. In 2005, Asay was charged with two counts of gross sexual assault following an incident involving a 16-year-old girl and Bradley found that the man was free on bail after being charged in Waldo County, Maine, with a recent domestic violence assault on Martin.
Bradley found that the terms of his release on bail included a prohibition that he stay away from Martin and her three children and a requirement that he have no contact with them. Although by living with Martin and her children Asay appeared to be in direct violation of his bail terms, Bradley found that the Maine bail violation was not extraditable in Massachusetts. Since Asay was listed as a violator for failing to register as a sexual offender in Massachusetts, detectives kept watch on the trailer and, when Asay returned, took him into custody.
Phelon reports that Asay claimed to have paperwork documenting his exemption from Maine’s sexual offender registration requirements but, when he could not produce it, he was arrested for being a sexual offender who has failed to register.
On May 23, when Asay appeared before Judge Philip A. Contant in Westfield District Court, he was held in lieu of $10,000 bail pending a June 20 hearing. Katie Hollstrom, an assistant district attorney in Waldo County, Maine, said later that his case in Belfast District Court has been continued while he is in custody in Massachusetts so he will probably be scheduled on the next docket call in October. Hollstrom said she has filed a motion to amend Asay’s current warrant to allow him to be extradited back to Maine.
Media Credit: The Westfield News