Readers offered the following comments in reaction to news that a judge dismissed the assault and battery charge against Southcoast Health President and CEO Keith A. Hovan after his wife declined to testify.

Share your thoughts: Tell us how you feel about the dismissal of Keith Hovan’s domestic assault and battery charge, and we’ll publish select comments in Community Voices. Use our online comment form, or email your opinions to

“This is so classic for domestic abuse and white privilege. There are no other words to excuse or justify.”

Patricia Andrade, New Bedford / Facebook

“No other evidence??? An admission at the scene by Hovan, a detailed police report, blood on him, blood on her and a black eye, 13 previous calls to the home over the past decade, and an arsenal of illegal magazines in the basement? Molly MacKinnon (prosecutor) had plenty of evidence???”

Jim O’Rourke, works at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth / Facebook

“He needs to GO!!!!!”

Patricia Andrade, New Bedford / Facebook

“The wife probably fears for her life.”

Mary Murphy, New Bedford / Facebook

“Catch 22 for the wife. Hope she has a good counselor

“She sets a bad example for battered women who don’t have financial means to get themselves safe and healthy. It’s hard to feel sorry for her. Hope he is NOT reinstated at Southcoast Hospital Systems.”

Margot Walbourne, Wareham / Facebook

“In reply to Margot Walbourne: It’s not uncommon for a woman to refuse to testify against her frighteningly abusive husband. It’s not always about financial means.”
Jane Vieira / Facebook

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