- Lawyer says James M. Porfido ready to go to trial
By MATT MANOCHIO • STAFF WRITER • November 5, 2010
The defense attorney for the Rockaway Township man accused of abuse against a 12-year-old boy under his care earlier this year steadfastly maintained his client’s innocence as they prepare to go to trial.
James M. Porfido, who’ll defend Mark Hildebrant, Jr., 28, in court, on Friday disputed the accusations in an indictment handed up Thursday by a grand jury in Morristown that his client injured the child by throwing rocks at him and hitting him with a shovel.
“With those allegations being as significant as they are … one would suspect, just a normal rational person would suspect that upon being evaluated at a hospital for medical injuries, that they would find some injuries, evidence that would substantiate the injuries … none of which were found,” Porfido said. “No evidence of bruising, scars or fractures, not a scrape, a cut, nothing.”
Rockaway Twp. man indicted for hitting boy with rocks, shovel
Hildebrant was arrested in April for allegedly placing stones in the child’s mouth and throwing rocks at him as a way of disciplining him for sloppy yardwork and a messy room. The indictment lists numerous aggravated assault charges related to abuse allegedly committed on April 5-6.
“My client denies it and maintains his innocence,” Porfido said.
Porfido also objected to the indictment lumping an abuse and endangering charge from December of 2009 in with the other charges.
“It was not even related,” he said, adding the incident was investigated previously by the Division of Youth and Family Services and deemed to be accidental.
Porfido also said he would’ve gladly put Hildebrant before the grand jury, but his offer was never accepted by the prosecutor’s office.
He also indicated he didn’t trust the child’s credibility.
“I can tell you that there’s been clear evidence that there have been prior reported incidents which were deemed to be not truthful, or unsubstantiated,” Porfido said. “This is kind of what I’ve been telling the prosecutor’s office all along. They have an obligation (to investigate) whether there are falsehoods to these allegations as there were in the past.”