After exhausting his final appeal of a rape conviction, the former chief officer of the Coast Guard’s Provincetown station was sentenced Thursday to between three and four years in state prison.
David Pierce, 46, was led from the Barnstable Superior Courtroom in handcuffs and dressed in a suit after a largely pro forma hearing during which Judge Gary Nickerson imposed the sentence. As Pierce was led from the courtroom, he nodded to family members. The decision to grant the prosecution’s motion to have the sentence imposed after the state Supreme Judicial Court declined to hear Pierce’s appeal for a new trial was automatic, Nickerson said.
In addition to serving the sentence at MCI Cedar Junction in Walpole, Pierce was also ordered not to contact the victim and to be tracked by GPS during a five-year probationary period. He is also required to register as a sex offender and submit a DNA sample.
Pierce was convicted of rape in February 2009 but had been free on $50,000 bail while he appealed the jury’s finding.
Nickerson stayed the original sentence because of the likelihood that Pierce would be successful in winning a new trial.
He has been required to wear a monitoring device and be registered as a sex offender while out on bail.
The victim testified during the trial that Pierce raped her in a jealous rage on three occasions. Pierce did not testify on his own behalf but told police that bruises on the woman’s body were the result of a “tickle fight.” Prosecutors have said that the victim suffered lacerations in her genital area and the contention that the injuries came from a tickle fight is “absurd.”
Details of other assault charges the woman initiated against past boyfriends — and one of their sons — that emerged in an evidentiary hearing were not mentioned in front of jurors.
After Thursday’s sentencing, Pierce’s father, Sandwich Selectman James Pierce, said the family had retained the Boston law firm Swomley and Associates to advise them on outstanding legal options.
Pierce’s attorney James Merberg declined to comment on the case Thursday outside of the courtroom.