By Lisa Redmond


AYER — Controversial landlord Hugh W. Ernisse sobbed as he shuffled out of a courtroom Wednesday in handcuffs and shackles to face a bevy of clerk-magistrate hearings that could land him in more legal trouble.

Sources say there were a handful of magistrate hearings that if the clerk finds there are sufficient facts, she could issue more charges against Ernisse. The results of those hearings are not available.

Earlier, the 81-year-old Ayer convicted sex offender was ordered held on $250 cash bail after pleading not guilty to assault and battery, breaking and entering, and municipal ordinance violation issued by Littleton police; and an assault-and-battery complaint from Ayer police.

Ernisse was already being held on $1,000 cash bail after he was alleged to have violated a restraining order on June 13 by taunting a woman who took out charges against him.

In the latest case, prosecutor Allison Brown alleges that on Nov. 9, Ayer police responded to Apple Valley Nursing Center to speak to a woman who is Ernisse’s former tenant at his 128 Washington St. home in Ayer. The woman told police that over a two-week period the previous August, Ernisse had allegedly grabbed her upper arms and squeezed until it hurt.

Ernisse is also alleged to have taunted and threatened her in a Walmart parking lot.

The judge set a pretrial conference date of Aug. 8 for all of Ernisse’s cases.

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