Recently, Michael Pessoa, a former Fall River police officer, was sentenced to up to three years in state prison. According to Mass Live, an online digital news outlet in Massachusetts, this comes after he was convicted of assaulting and violating a member of the public, in addition to other charges. Prior to Pessoa’s trial and sentencing hearing, which were held earlier this year, he was fired by the Fall River Police Department in January 2022.
Fall River Interim Police Chief Paul Gauvin Announced Former FRPD Officer Michael Pessoa’s Firing in January 2022
In January 2022, Fall River interim police chief, Paul Gauvin, made an announcement stating that he had fired Officer Michael Pessoa. Pessoa was facing several criminal offense charges, including assaulting suspects and falsifying police reports.
According to WPRI-TV, the termination occurred about a year and a half after a grand jury indicted Pessoa on 15 counts of assault against four different men in separate cases. Following the indictment, Pessoa was placed on administrative leave from the police department while awaiting city employment proceedings, which concluded in January 2022 with Pessoa’s firing.
Attorney Frank D. Camera, who is Michael Pessoa’s attorney, released a statement via email regarding Pessoa’s firing that read in part, “[Michael Pessoa] was an exemplary police officer for the City of Fall River Police Department for 18 years and at all times throughout his career served the public with honor and respect.” Attorney Camera also wrote, “The decision to terminate, though disappointing to Mr. Pessoa, comports with the City’s poor decision-making of late.”
Michael Pessoa’s Sentencing Hearing Was Held in June 2023
Former FRPD Officer Michael Pessoa’s sentencing hearing happened this past June. Attorney Frank D. Camera and Of Counsel Kathryn Blythe each advocated for him during the hearing.
Attorney Camera was the first to advocate for Mr. Pessoa during the hearing. Attorney Camera described it as a somber day and pointed out the gallery full of people there in support of Mr. Pessoa. He discussed the personal relationship he formed with Mr. Pessoa after taking his case and recounted his first meeting with Mr. Pessoa when he visited him in lock-up.
Attorney Camera explained how disappointed he was with the way Mr. Pessoa was prosecuted from day one considering Mr. Pessoa’s nearly 20 years of service as a police officer, lack of a criminal record, and all he had done for the community throughout the years.
Attorney Camera talked about how impressed he was by Mr. Pessoa’s loyalty and high character. He announced he still believed in Mr. Pessoa and his case but respected the jury’s decision.
Attorney Camera said that his admiration for Mr. Pessoa turned into friendship and that it was rare for him to become friends with clients. He explained that he thought so highly of Mr. Pessoa that when Mr. Pessoa was let go from the police department, he offered him a job at a restaurant he was in the process of opening. Mr. Pessoa was appreciative and humbly accepted.
Attorney Camera said that his admiration for Mr. Pessoa grew once he began to work for him. He described Mr. Pessoa as a hard worker who showed up day in and day out and did anything that was asked of him.
Finally, Attorney Camera asked the court to consider the type of high-character man Mr. Pessoa has been throughout his life when dispensing an appropriate sentence.
Of Counsel Blythe advocated for Mr. Pessoa next. She discussed how sentencing hearings often involved the court looking at a defendant’s worst moment and ignoring a whole lifetime of positive actions and experiences. Of Counsel Blythe said that the court shouldn’t forget all the good Mr. Pessoa has done, both as a police officer and as a member of the community. She declared that this ruling doesn’t define who Mr. Pessoa is, was, or is going to be.
Of Counsel Blythe spoke of all the family, friends, and fellow officers who wrote character reference letters on behalf of Mr. Pessoa and how the letters spoke of Mr. Pessoa’s integrity, humbleness, and self-lessness. She talked about all the good that Mr. Pessoa has done and will continue to do, like helping the less fortunate in the community. Of Counsel Blythe said that is who Mr. Pessoa and his family are and who they are going to continue to be.
Of Counsel Blythe asked the court to consider all that Mr. Pessoa and his family have done for the community and all that they’ve lost already, including their standing in the community, Mr. Pessoa’s police career, and his pension. She asked that the court consider sentencing Mr. Pessoa to three years of probation and two years of house arrest. Of Counsel Blythe said that whatever sentence the court decides to dispense, she hopes that it is reasonable, just, and not more severe than necessary. She also implored the court to take Mr. Pessoa’s safety into account as a former police officer if the court decides to sentence him to prison as opposed to house arrest.
More About Attorney Frank D. Camera and Of Counsel Kathryn Blythe
Frank D. Camera is a highly reputable trial attorney with extensive experience in handling both criminal and civil cases. With a track record of handling thousands of cases, Attorney Camera has earned respect in Massachusetts courts.
Attorney Camera has been retained by members of the legal, political, and business communities, including law enforcement agents and other attorneys. His wealth of experience as a skilled trial attorney, along with his persuasive communication skills, has resulted in acquittals on serious crimes, including first-degree murder.
Of Counsel Kathryn Blythe has dedicated her career to criminal defense and personal injury law. She has been practicing since 2011, representing clients charged with committing a variety of criminal offenses, including sexual assaults, narcotics offenses, and weapon offenses. Alongside Attorney Camera, she has actively participated in the litigation of several murder trials.
Of Counsel Blythe is experienced in practicing law in both the District and Superior Courts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as in Federal Court. Clients seek her for her effective advocacy, preparation, and impressive track record in court. She is highly regarded for her communication skills and approachability.
Have You Been Accused of a Serious Crime? Contact the Law Office of Frank D. Camera and Associates, P.C. Today
If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, the Law Office of Frank D. Camera and Associates, P.C. is here to help. We’ll provide you with dedicated representation and guide you through each stage of the legal process.
Our team will educate, support, and give you the guidance you need to fully grasp your legal position, explore your options, and determine the best way forward. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for you, whether it's getting your case dismissed, reducing charges or sentencing, or even achieving an acquittal at trial. You can trust us to be there for you every step of the way.
Reach out to our office at (877) 444-1098 or get in touch with us online today to learn more about our law firm and how we can help.