Date Published:
Wed, 12/17/2008
By Aaron Gouveia

December 17, 2008
FALMOUTH — A former police officer who resigned in June amid assault allegations will not face criminal charges, according to the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office.

Mario Cunha, 24, turned in his badge one day after a judge granted his ex-girlfriend a restraining order against him, citing past domestic abuse. But a subsequent investigation by the State Police Detectives Unit assigned to the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office will not result in criminal charges being filed against Cunha, First Assistant District Attorney Michael Trudeau said.

“They fully and thoroughly investigated the matter and there was no credibility to the allegations,” said Cunha’s attorney, J. Drew Segadelli.

The alleged victim claimed she dated Cunha from March 2006 until January. The woman said she suffered several instances of abuse, including Cunha putting his hands around her neck, not allowing her to leave his bedroom and one time forcing her to have sexual intercourse.

She also claimed to have received threatening text messages from Cunha but told a judge earlier this year she couldn’t produce the messages because she had deleted them.

Segadelli paints a picture of a jilted ex-lover who waited more than six months to report the alleged incidents to the police. The complaints against Cunha came just three days before his probationary period as a Falmouth police officer expired, which Segadelli says was crafted to punish his client unfairly.

Officers on probation who have been with the department for less than a year can be fired without cause.

“The fact that she waited seven months with just three days to go before his probationary period was up speaks volumes,” Segadelli said.

The question now is whether or not Cunha will try to get his job back.

Segadelli said his first order of business is going back to court to get the restraining order against his client removed. Following that, the attorney hopes to set up a meeting with Police Chief Anthony Riello.

Riello said the issue is a personnel matter, pointing out the town manager is the hiring authority in this case. “He’s entitled to apply for a job but so far he has not,” Riello said.

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