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Marblehead cop cleared of domestic abuse
By Julie Manganis
Staff writer

PEABODY - A suspended Marblehead police officer was cleared yesterday of charges that he assaulted his wife during an argument in their Peabody home a year-and-a-half ago.

But despite the acquittal, which came after just a half-hour of deliberations by a Peabody District Court jury, Cary Gaynor's future on the Marblehead force remains uncertain.

The 34-year-old Gaynor, who testified in his own defense during a two-day trial, admitted pushing his wife, but said he was acting in self-defense after she attacked him during an argument in the home they were preparing to sell as part of a bankruptcy back on Aug. 2, 2003. He said his wife had grabbed his face, jamming a finger into his mouth, then kneed him in the groin and slapped him hard enough to knock his glasses off his face.

The couple, separated at the time of the incident, have since divorced.

Defense lawyer Robert Weiner called the jury's quick verdict in the case "a total rejection of her testimony," referring to Gaynor's former wife.

"I think they repudiated and rejected all of her testimony and her claims," said Weiner, who, during cross-examination pressed her to explain contradictory accounts of the assault provided to police, to hospital workers and later, in court.

She was also questioned about her substance abuse issues at the time. Weiner during the trial also questioned police about why she was not also charged with domestic abuse after police saw Gaynor's own cut lip.

Gaynor has full custody of the couple's four children, including two older children he legally adopted from his wife's first marriage. His ex-wife does not have visitation.

For now, Gaynor remains suspended from the force without pay and it's unclear if he will ever return to the department. Marblehead Police Chief James Carney, reached yesterday afternoon, said only that the town's attorney is looking into the matter. "I really can't comment any further," Carney said.

However, Weiner said, "I'm confident he's going to get his job back."

Gaynor has been working as a paramedic since his suspension.

Staff writer Julie Manganis can be reached at (978) 338-2521 or by e-mail at [email protected]. Staff writer Jill Harmacinski contributed to this report.
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