Back to Prison for New Bedford Criminal Convicted of Assault
NEW BEDFORD — A New Bedford man with a long criminal record — including a 2002 conviction for manslaughter, heroin distribution, and illegally dumping a human body in Nantucket harbor — is going back to prison for a violent domestic assault.
The Bristol County D.A.'s office said 67-year-old Peter Chongarlides was sentenced to serve up to 16 years in state prison after his conviction by jury on Friday.
Chongarlides had assaulted his girlfriend multiple times in 2021, eventually causing broken ribs and several facial fractures that required multiple plates and screws in her face to repair, according to the office.
She also suffers from permanent nerve damage and has lost feeling in the left side of her face due to the attacks.
Following a three-day trial, on Friday Chongarlides was convicted of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, intimidation, and two counts of domestic assault and battery.
He had attacked the victim, his on-and-off girlfriend of several years, in July 2021, forcing her to hide from police, the D.A.'s office said.
Chongarlides was arrested, but posted bail, and attacked the victim again at a Coffin Avenue home in November 2021.
This time, he pulled a knife and threatened her, before pushing her to the ground and kicking her with work boots on.
According to the D.A.'s office, after the victim took out a restraining order against him, he attacked her again and forced her to stay inside his apartment.
She escaped the next morning and took a bus to St. Luke's Hospital, where she was treated for her injuries, including four broken ribs and five serious facial fractures that required reconstructive surgery.
The D.A.'s office said Chongarlides had six different restraining orders from four different victims filed against him at the time of his arrest.
According to the D.A., he also has a criminal record dating back to 1978.
Chongarlides has more than 50 convictions, including his most notorious — a Nantucket case in which he was found guilty of supplying 29-year-old Pamela Bouchard with heroin, then illegally disposing of her body in the harbor after she overdosed.
He was sentenced to 13-15 years in prison on those charges in 2002.
The D.A.'s office credited Victim Witness Advocate Mayka Rodrigues with convincing the victim to testify against her attacker.
Chongarlides will spend three years on probation after his release from prison.
"The defendant is a career criminal. He brutally assaulted in the victim on multiple occasions, breaking her ribs and fracturing her facial bones," Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn said.
"He clearly is a danger to the victim and the community," Quinn added. "The sentence imposed by the court is well deserved."