Judge: Charge against Mass. woman in phony lawyer case stands
BRENTWOOD – A judge has rejected a bid to dismiss charges against a woman accused of helping her jailed boyfriend impersonate a public defender by setting up a three-way call to another jail.
Shayna Provencal, 24, of Andover, Mass., is now expected to go on trial the week of June 24 in Rockingham County Superior Court on charges of accomplice to identity fraud.
Her boyfriend, John Bouraphael, 33, of Danville goes to trial on identity fraud charges on June 19 for impersonating public defender Anthony Naro.
Bouraphael is currently serving a state prison sentence on felony drug charges.
Judge N. William Delker agreed with prosecutors that they have enough evidence against Provencal to bring the case to a jury.
He said in a recent one-page order that prosecutors do not have to prove every element of the offense to bring an accomplice charge against Provencal.
“By dialing Attorney Naro’s bar number on the phone, she aided Mr. Bouraphael in committing identity fraud,” Delker said.
Prosecutors allege Provencal assisted Bouraphael in recording Naro’s state bar ID number in the telephone registry at the Merrimack County House of Corrections.
Bouraphael’s ruse – which included speaking to corrections officials there – cleared him to speak with another inmate about fellow inmates they used to bully for canteen goods at the Rockingham County jail, according to prosecutors.
Rockingham County Corrections Lt. Dave Consentino reviewed a recording of the outgoing jail call. The matter was then referred to the sheriff’s department.
Defense lawyer Patrick Fleming argued in court papers that it was clear that the identity fraud law was not meant to separately criminalize “the posing of another person while being recorded, but rather to criminalize the recording of personal information (things like passwords, PINS, etc.) without consent and with the intent to later use that information for posing as another person.”
He added, “If the intent were to criminalize merely being recorded while posing as another person without that person’s permission, every comedian who impersonates a celebrity without the celebrity’s permission while performing over the Internet or on a CD or on television, is committing identity fraud under New Hampshire law.”
Fleming could still ask a judge to reconsider his opinion prior to trial.
Provencal’s bid to have her charges dismissed came along with a similar effort by Bouraphael. In his case, Judge Kenneth McHugh likewise decided prosecutors had met their legal burden to move ahead with a trial.
McHugh will decide the verdict in Bouraphael’s trial instead of a jury.
Provencal faces up to 7 ½ to 15 years in state prison if she is convicted by a jury.