A Lawrence police officer was sentenced to ten to twelve years in state prison on Friday afternoon for raping a young boy he met on a dating app in 2018.
Carlos Vieira, 53, of Lawrence, was found guilty on 2 counts of aggravated rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 on October 25.
According to the Essex County DA, Vieira met the 13-year-old victim on a social media app GRINDR in the late summer of 2018. They met at Mt. Vernon Park and engaged in sexual acts inside Vieira's SUV. When the victim and his family were evacuated following the Merrimack Valley gas explosions, he recognized Vieira, who was directing traffic.
The victim's mother didn't learn of the sexual contact until a family dispute in January 2019. She immediately contacted authorities.
"The defendant's conduct is an affront to the community he swore to protect," Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. "It's important to acknowledge that many people were impacted by this defendant's criminal behavior. The victim and his entire family will never be the same. I hope that they can now find some healing and peace."
A Salem Superior Court Judge also ordered Vieira to serve five years of probation upon completion of his prison term which includes staying away from and having no contact with the victim and his family, seeking and completing sex offender evaluation and treatment, registering as a sex offender and having no unsupervised contact with children under 16.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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