Taunton woman accused of assaulting officer investigating report of child abuse faces judge

TAUNTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A Taunton mother of three, charged with attacking a police officer, was back in court Thursday.

Melissa Jean Hope, 34, faced a judge for a pre-trial hearing and is accused of assault and battery on a police officer when investigators were at her apartment in September looking into allegations of child abuse at her home, officials say.

Officers responding to an apartment on East Water Street at the request of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families to assist with an investigation into a report of child abuse going were greeted by Hope before discovering three children living in squalor, according to the Taunton Police Department.

DCF officials had reason to believe that the children were being sexually assaulted and kept in cages, according to a police report.

Hope and her husband allegedly refused to allow the officers to enter the apartment and shouted obscenities from a window, insisting they come back with a warrant, the report indicated.

Officers forced their way inside to gain access to the children due to the “exigent circumstances,” but Hope allegedly stood in their way and said, “You ain’t (expletive) going anywhere.” As one officer tried to move past Hope, police say she grabbed their throat and neck and pushed backward “with a significant amount of force.”

Hope, screaming and yelling, was placed under arrest. The children were taken into DCF custody after officers deemed the living situation to be unsuitable.

The father of the children, Matthew Hope, told 7News that the allegations were “100 percent false.”

“Made up factual fairytales. Made up by I don’t know who,” he said. “If any of this was true, don’t you think somebody would have been brought up on charges? Come on now people.”

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