Woman dragged from courtroom during outburst

BENNINGTON -- A woman was forcibly arrested Friday in Vermont Superior Court because she would not stop talking after son was ordered held without bail.

The woman is Janet Foley, mother of Mario Foley, 29, who denied having violated his probation by not cooperating with sex offender screening.

Judge John Wesley ordered Mario Foley be held without bail until at least Feb. 5 when another hearing will be held. Foley pleaded guilty on Aug. 9, 2004 to sexual assault on a minor, and three counts of prohibited acts. According to an affidavit by Department of Corrections officer Michael Doheny, Foley was given a three- to 10-year suspended sentence, but had to serve two years of it. On Jan. 30 Foley spoke to a screener to see if he could partake in community based group sex offender treatment. Doheny wrote Foley blamed his victims, used derogatory language toward them, and said he would only participate in treatment if forced to.

Foley's record includes numerous instances of probation violations that have caused him to be returned to Vermont from Nevada, where his father lives. Most recently, according to the affidavit, Foley was returned to Vermont for allegedly attempting to lure a 12-year-old girl into his car.

Doheny recommended the court hold Foley without bail, revoke his probation, and have him serve his sentence.

On Friday, after Wesley ordered Foley to be held, his mother spoke up and said she was his health care proxy. Wesley told her not to speak or she would be removed from the court. When she would not stop speaking, Bennington County Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Brodeur attempted to remove her, but she resisted and continued talking, saying odd things about the Central Intelligence Agency and human trafficking. Wesley then ordered Janet Foley arrested, and she continued to resist while being placed in handcuffs. Deputy Scott LaFountain stepped in and assisted Brodeur in removing Foley from the court as her comments became louder and stranger. At one she said she was not under any "national security orders," and made a reference to Jimmy Hoffa.

According to a court clerk, it is possible Foley will be cited for disorderly conduct, but first a citation has to go to the State's Attorney's Office, which decides on whether or not to pursue charges.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.


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