Pittsfield Man Pleads Guilty to 6 Counts of Raping a Child

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Monday, Nov. 20 Dean Giftos, age 48 of Pittsfield, pled guilty to 2 counts of Rape of a Child with Force and 4 counts of Rape of a Child, Aggravated by Age Difference.
Judge Agostini sentenced Giftos to 7 to 10 years in prison for the Rape with Force charges and 3 years' probation from and after for the Aggravated Rape charges.  During his probation, Giftos must have no contact with the victim, have no unsupervised contact with minors, and he must attend sex offender treatment.  Should he violate his probation, he is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. 
According to a report from the district attorney's office, Giftos sexually assaulted a child for a period spanning approximately nine to ten years. The two charges (Rape of a Child, Aggravated by Age Difference and Rape of a Child with Force) are due to the age of the child during the time of the assaults. The aggravated charges stem from sexual assaults that took place before the child turned 12. The investigation began when the defendant made a confession without a prior investigation.  During an investigation prompted by Giftos' confession, he made a similar confession to a Pittsfield Police Department detective.
The victim submitted a victim impact statement which was read prior to sentencing.  The victim is satisfied with the result of the case.
Assistant District Attorney Andrew Giarolo represented the Commonwealth. Victim Witness Advocates Carmen Guevara and Ian Benoit served on behalf of the District Attorney's Office. The Pittsfield Police Department acted as the lead law enforcement agency.
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West Side Residents Build Ideal Neighborhood At Zoning Session

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Program manager James McGrath opens the session at Conte Community School.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents mapped out a West Side they would like to see during an input session this week, utilizing multi-use properties to create robust density.

Held at Conte Community School on Monday, this was the second meeting of a project to examine zoning in the neighborhood. The Department of Community Development, in partnership with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, has been working with an urban planning and design consulting team on the effort that will conclude on June 30.

"This is a really important project for your neighborhood," Park, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath said.

Multifamily houses with spaces to accommodate a small business were popular. A community center, church, year-round farmer's market, and even a place to draw in commerce appeared as elements on the tabletop street.

An emphasis was also placed on the amount of immigrants coming to the area in need of housing.

Max Douhoure, community outreach coordinator for Habitat, explained that he grew up in Africa where people liked to live together, which his build reflected.

"I wanted to improve their conditions," he said. "That’s what I did."

During the first meeting in November, the team heard desires for businesses and commercial uses — including a need for small, family-owned business support. The session provided an overview of what zoning is, what zoning can and can't do, how zoning can improve the community, and the impact on residents.

"Today's exercise is really about creating spaces in buildings and on properties to do a combination of residential [uses] that meet the needs and commercial uses that meet the needs of the neighborhood,"  Emily Keys Innes, principal of Innes Associates explained.

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