- Essex District Attorney’s Office
Media Contact for Hockey Coach Accused of Child Rape Released on Bail
Salem, Massachusetts — Due to recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rulings*, a youth hockey coach accused of sexually assaulting eight boys under 14, can no longer be held without bail under the dangerousness statute (M.G.L. Chapter 276; Section 58A) As a result, he was released on $15,000 cash bail at a bail hearing in Salem Superior Court this afternoon.
Christopher Prew, 33, has been indicted for one count of Rape of a Child Aggravated by Age Difference, 14 counts of Indecent Assault & Battery on a Child Under 14 and one count of attempted Indecent Assault & Battery on Child Under 14. The eight victims are boys between the ages of 7 and 13.
“As District Attorney, it is my duty to protect the public. That duty drastically is impeded if the law does not allow my Office to seek pre-trial detention under the dangerousness statute against individuals who rape and sexually assault children,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “There is no other victim more vulnerable than a child. The law must be changed so that we may protect them from predators. I am asking the Legislature, again, to enact Governor Baker’s re-file, ‘An Act to Protect the Commonwealth from Dangerous Persons,’ immediately to close this gap in the law.”
In addition to the cash bail, Judge Thomas Drechsler imposed the following conditions: that the defendant reside with a family member other than his mother and stepfather in home without firearms or minor children, surrender himself to a Vermont warrant, be monitored by GPS, check in weekly with probation, stay away from and have no contact with the victims and witnesses, stay out of the town of Marblehead, MA, no unsupervised contact with children under 16, no employment involving children under 18, submit to a curfew (7:00 pm to 7:00 am), not to leave Massachusetts except for court appearances in Vermont, refrain from possessing a firearm or other dangerous weapons, and surrender his passport.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall stated in a bail memorandum filed with the Court, that despite the fact that the defendant has been found dangerous by a District and Superior Court judges, the recent SJC decisions and “dire necessity for legislative action” prevents the Commonwealth from arguing the dangerousness of a defendant charged with sexually assaulting 8 children.
The case is currently scheduled for trial on May 4, 2020. The defendant is represented by Attorney Kelli Porges and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
*Commonwealth v. David Barnes and Commonwealth v. Carlos Vieira