Starting Point’s Response to the Sentencing of Bryan Carroll
May 14, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tiffany Roberts 603.901.2270
On Friday, May 8th, Bryan Carroll was sentenced in Carroll County Superior Court by Judge Amy Ignatius. A jury found Bryan Carroll guilty on charges of second-degree assault-domestic violence as well as a misdemeanor domestic violence assault charge. The jury was hung (split) on a second felony charge for strangulation. Mr. Carroll’s conduct that led to that guilty verdict included having dragged the victim down the stairs of their home, throwing her off the front steps, jumping on top of her, and punching her with a closed fist repeatedly in the face. This led to a broken nose and fractured orbital bone that required surgery.
Enduring a violent crime is horrific and often life-altering. We know that physical injuries only represent a portion of the damage caused, and victims carry trauma from these experiences for many years, and often decades. When victims of domestic violence find the courage and fortitude to report the crime and participate in the criminal justice process, they reasonably expect that if a jury finds their attacker guilty, the sentence will match the severity of the crime.
However, this was not the case on Friday. Shockingly, during the sentencing of Mr. Carroll, Judge Ignatius suspended his entire prison sentence of 2-4 years pending four years of good behavior. Mr. Carroll will now only serve 12 months, minus any credit he may receive for good behavior for the misdemeanor, which is the very least of the crimes he committed.
This is also not the first time that Judge Ignatius has undermined the experiences of victims in her courtroom. During a court hearing on April 6th, Terrance Perkins was ordered to be released from Carroll County jail, after concerns emerged that he was at risk of contracting COVID-19. Mr. Perkins was convicted of two counts of domestic violence criminal threatening with a deadly weapon for threatening family members with a gun. Later, he was charged with assaulting a female corrections officer, demonstrating a pattern of violence, even after sentencing. He remains a threat not only to his victims, but also to the community. His release was ordered hastily, even as the court learned of his efforts in having his firearms returned. Cases like those of Mr. Carroll and Mr. Perkins demonstrate a high risk of lethality that should not be taken lightly.
Often, the impact that a court sentence will have on a perpetrator of abuse is highly considered, however this sends the message that the reputation of a perpetrator somehow outweighs the horrendous, irreversible acts carried out on victims of domestic and sexual violence. Judge Ignatius has continuously demonstrated that she values the livelihood of violent offenders over the safety and well-being of victims.
“We at Starting Point are categorically appalled by the sentence Judge Amy Ignatius handed down on Friday and we are deeply concerned this court is not taking domestic and sexual violence seriously. Apparent to us, is that this Court displays a lack of understanding for the consequences victims of crime endure. Victims are not given an opportunity to escape the consequences of their perpetrator’s crimes and it is very alarming that being “polite and well behaved” while in the court process earns perpetrators credit with Judge Ignatius such as the ability to remain free for months after a conviction while awaiting sentencing. We wish Judge Ignatius would reserve some of her trademark mercy and warmth for victims. They deserve it.” -Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Starting Point Services for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence.
While Judge Ignatius seems more than willing to excuse the terrifying abuse of perpetrators of domestic violence, she appears inconsistent with her sentencing. In 2019, she sentenced a man to 2-4 years at the New Hampshire State Prison for stealing money from the safe at Cumberland Farms while employed there. In 2018, she sentenced a man to 2 ½ to 5 years for a burglary, which involved a break in and theft of tools from a business. Judge Ignatius also handed down a sentence of 3-6 years in New Hampshire State Prison for Aggravated DUI in 2018. These people were all apparently “the sort of people who should go to prison”, unlike Bryan Carroll, who was convicted of a nearly fatal assault against his intimate partner, causing serious bodily injury and lifelong trauma.
Domestic and sexual violence are very serious crimes. We commend the medical professionals, law enforcement, and prosecution team involved in this case. Most especially, we commend this courageous survivor and we stand with her.
Starting Point’s trained advocates remain available 24/7 to meet the needs of victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking here in Carroll County. If you or a loved one need support or information, please call 800-336-3795. Caring advocates are standing by to help.
About Starting Point Services for Victims of Domestic & Sexual Violence is a non-profit organization dedicated to:
o Ensuring quality services are provided to victims of relationship violence and sexual abuse;
o Preventing future relationship violence;
o Promoting social change ; and
o Encouraging accountability and education for perpetrators and stalkers.
For more information visit www.startingpointnh.org.
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Conway Office: 603.447.2494
PO Box 1972, Conway, NH 03818
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