Boston Area Police Get Lucky In Sex Abuse And Arson Investigations

The police in Haverhill Massachusetts got lucky recently. They got a “two-for”. They were investigating an arson case. However, due to what they found, they arrested another gentleman who now needs a lawyer for a different type of case.

The detectives were canvassing an apartment building which had been, the scene of three Sunday morning fires, when they stumbled upon a case of sexual abuse of a 12-year-old boy,

“It was the last thing we expected to find,” a police spokesman, Police Officer Zipper, said. “The nature of police work is turning over stones.”

The detectives had gone to the apartment of accused arsonist Patricia M. (herein after, the “Arson Defendant”) on a Monday night to talk to other occupants. It was there that they met the boy and Jeffrey P. 39, (hereinafter, the “Sex Defendant”) in the apartment. Through questioning, they learned that the Sex Defendant and the boy shared a bed.

After further questioning, and the wading through what the police call “stark inconsistencies”, the Sex Defendant apparently ended up admitting to having sex with the boy several times. The boy ended up confirming the admission.

The Sex Defendant was arrested and charged with rape of a child under 14, 10 counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, and disseminating pornographic material to a minor.

The investigating officer had merely gone to Arson Defendant’s apartment to investigate her role in fires in a building in which she had been living in December. She had already been arrested and charged with eight counts of arson of a dwelling in connection with a series of fires at the two Emerson Street buildings dating back to 2006.

The sexual abuse investigation continues and police have not revealed whether they believe that Arson Defendant was aware that it had been happening in her apartment. In the meantime, Zipper claims that Sex Defendant is a classic sexual predator based on this relationship and the way he developed it. Additionally, Sex Defendant is apparently a convicted Level 1 sex offender based on a case in Middlesex Superior Court, and had registered as a sex offender with the Haverhill police as required by law, police said.

Both defendants were held without bail.
Attorney Sam’s Take:

It is important to remember that, once the police are in a lawful positioning, if they find something illegal, they can react to it.

This may seem obvious to some, but I still find many clients who are surprised that officers who have, for example, searched their home pursuant to a warrant, find drugs , guns or some other type of contraband that actually seize that contraband and arrest them for it.

There are restrictions on how an officer may gain entrance to your home. Yes, there are even restrictions as to how far he is allowed to search. However, if he is within that area, and finds evidence of another crime, he is allowed to investigate.

“But, Sam, how am I supposed to know when the officer has gone too far?”

Simple. That’s when you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. No, you probably will not be able to do so while the officer is tugging at your sleeve and inviting you a free ride downtown. Remember what this blog has said in the past – do not try to outwit, out fight or outrun the officer. Go along quietly. Then, call the attorney.

If you wish that attorney to be me, and you wish to discuss the case, feel free to do so by calling me at 617-492-3000.

For the full article concerning today’s posting of the Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, go to and

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