A critic of former Providence mayor Buddy Cianci has been acquitted of simple assault on a woman in a rival political campaign.
The Providence Journal reports that Judge Anthony Capraro said the police failed to prove that Pat Cortellessa, an opponent of failed independent mayoral candidate Buddy Cianci, punched a Cianci backer in the forearm with the intent to harm following an October campaign forum.
The 58-year-old Cortellessa of Cranston testified he was chatting after the forum and was suddenly grabbed from behind. He said he didn't punch anyone.
Daniel S. Harrop, the Republican mayoral candidate, and Wilfred Ordonez, executive director of Direct Action for Rights and Equality, which co-sponsored the forum, corroborated Cortellessa's account.