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Judge denies protective orders between coach, police officer

A judge has denied competing domestic violence petitions a Concord High School coach and her former girlfriend, a Pembroke police officer, filed against one another last month.

The judge also said in his order that both Amanda Bacher and Officer Jacqueleyn Parker likely committed simple assault during the March 11 incident that spurred the petitions. Only Bacher has been charged.

Bacher, a Concord High School basketball and lacrosse coach, was arrested after Parker called the police and said her ex-girlfriend had arrived at her home unannounced and accused her of being in a new relationship. The police said Bacher stayed at the home for about 45 minutes and attacked Parker by pulling at her shirt, slamming her against a door and wrapping her hands around her neck.

A more detailed picture of the incident came to light, though, at an April 5 hearing at Concord’s district court on the domestic violence petitions that both parties filed against one another.

At that hearing, Bacher said she came to the apartment to return her key and definitively end the relationship. She said she had recently blocked her ex’s phone number, and Parker admitted to evading that measure by calling from the Pembroke Police Department.

Parker also admitted to grabbing Bacher’s jacket and standing in front of the door while her ex was in the apartment.

Both women told Judge Edward Tenney they needed domestic violence orders because they each feared for their safety.

Tenney, though, decided their actions had demonstrated otherwise.

In his order, the judge said Bacher went to Parker’s home by herself and initiated contact the evening of the fight. Parker, whose petition was temporarily granted pending the hearing, contacted Bacher through email just days after filing the request, he said.

“The parties’ actions towards one another before, or after, the minor altercation did not indicate fear of the other despite their statements made at the time of trial,” Tenney said in the order.

A phone number for Parker could not be obtained yesterday.

Bacher’s lawyer, Jim Rosenberg, said he was disappointed that his client’s order wasn’t granted but relieved that Parker’s temporary order was dismissed and her request denied.

He said Bacher “continues to live in fear” for all the reasons exposed at the hearing. And he denied that she showed otherwise by going to Parker’s home.

“She went to that house that night in order to return a key and leave,” he said. “And what we know from the order is that her attempt to leave was thwarted by Ms. Parker, who blocked the door.”

Rosenberg said a trial has not been scheduled on Bacher’s charges, three counts of Class A misdemeanor simple assault that each carry a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and $2,000 fine.

When asked for his reaction to the judge’s finding that it’s likely both parties committed assault, Rosenberg said his priority is only to defend Bacher.

“I think it is certainly interesting that the court found that the petitioner, Mrs. Parker, also perpetrated assault,” he said, adding that Bacher maintains her innocence. “And it’s certainly interesting that Mrs. Parker was not charged with assault.”

A Concord police spokesman could not be reached yesterday afternoon to comment on whether the department intends to file charges against Parker.

Bacher was involved in a high-profile stalking case at the high school in 2007 when she accused a teacher of calling her excessively and forcing an unprofessionally close friendship. She and the teacher, Patricia Hardman, ultimately settled Bacher’s stalking petition privately.

Both went on to file civil lawsuits against each other, Bacher accusing Hardman of grooming her for a sexual relationship and Hardman claiming her former student had defamed her and invaded her privacy.

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or
tnadolny@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @tricia_nadolny.)

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