EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 8, 2013

Santiago has history of restraining orders

Former State Rep. accusedof hitting his former girlfriend

LAWRENCE – Former State Rep. Jose Santiago has had three prior restraining orders filed against him by women since 2005, it was revealed during his arraignment yesterday for allegedly violating another restraining order filed by an ex-girlfriend.

Santiago, who has recently been reduced to working as a city DPW laborer, allegedly told the woman, “I’m well known .... No one is going to believe you” about being physically assaulted.

He is accused of hitting the woman with a closed fist and on another occasion throwing her against a wall.

Santiago, 53, allegedly told his ex-girlfriend, “If you are not going to be with me you are not going to be with anyone.”

Court documents filed in the case yesterday, reveal that Santiago had three other restraining orders against him in the past. Prosecutors sought $10,000 bail, but Lawrence District Court Judge Michael Brooks released him without bail on personal recognizance and ordered him to have no contact or any kind with the woman.

Santiago entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.

Santiago also has a restraining order against his ex-girlfriend, another detail that emerged during yesterday’s proceedings.

The ex-girlfriend was in court yesterday, but did not speak during the court proceeding or to the news media afterwards. Santiago’s brother and other relatives also declined comment.

Prior to his arrest early Saturday morning outside a Lawrence nightclub, Santiago was in the news for being hired by his former political foe, Mayor William Lantigua, for a $15-per-hour temporary DPW job. He was hired after Lantigua fired another worker, Tom Sapienza, for taking too much time off to care for his terminally ill wife.

Heather Sapienza, 40, died on Thursday after a 19-month bout with cancer.

Longtime friend and former co-worker Jackie Marmol described Santiago’s arrest as a personal matter. “I hope he can straighten this out,” she said.

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