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State & Region Briefs


Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Suspect in child rape case held without bail

SALISBURY — A man charged with two counts of child rape is being held without bail after being a deemed a danger to the community.

Scott Smith, 37, is charged with giving alcohol to minors and then raping them. The Salisbury man was previously arrested for possession of child pornography. Those charges are still pending.

Smith’s attorney had asked that he be placed on house arrest, forced to wear a tracking device and restricted from using computers. But prosecutors said there was no way to enforce those conditions, noting that Smith acknowledged having an addiction to porn.

A judge ordered him held without bail Monday. He is due back in court next month.

Police: Man robs bank, makes his getaway in a cab

PEABODY — A Boston man charged with robbing a bank and making his getaway in a taxi is expected to be charged in two other bank robberies.

Leo Willwerth was held without bail after pleading not guilty Tuesday to robbing a Peabody bank at about 2 p.m. Monday.

Police say the 31-year-old Willwerth claimed to have a bomb. After the teller handed him money he ran to a nearby mall and jumped in a cab with a woman.

With the help of the cab company, the vehicle was tracked to Boston and stopped at about 3:30 p.m.

The cab company says the driver was shaken but unharmed. The woman wasn’t charged.

State police say Willwerth will be charged with bank robberies in Boston on June 5 and 7. His lawyer didn’t comment.

State agency loses $93,000 in wire transfer scam

BOSTON — A Massachusetts auditor says an official at a state agency mistakenly wired more than $93,000 in public money to a scammer’s bank account.

The audit by Suzanne Bump released Monday shows an official with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center wired $93,679 to the account on Jan. 9, 2017.

MassCEC discovered the theft the following month, but delaying telling their board of directors until September. The agency also did not file a criminal complaint.

The agency has since recovered about $25,000, but Bump says the agency could have possibly recovered more if they acted sooner.

A MassCEC spokesman says the agency has since implemented new security measures, including requiring employees to take an annual security training course.

The agency says it will also take more timely action in the future.

Fitchburg trying to break world record for largest paper plane

FITCHBURG — Fitchburg residents are hoping to break the world record for largest paper airplane.

The Revolving Museum of Fitchburg is revealing a nearly one-ton plane Tuesday at the Fitchburg Municipal Airport. Volunteers have spent more than three years planning and building the plane.

Organizers say they don’t plan to fly the 64-foot long, 1,500-pound contraption. A construction crane will instead hold it aloft. An independent monitor also will be on hand to measure and document the plane on behalf of the Guinness World Record organization.

The plane project is meant to spotlight Fitchburg’s history as a major paper producer.

Guinness World Records says the largest paper aircraft was built by students and employees at the Braunschweig Institute of Technology in Braunschweig, Germany in 2013.

From The Associated Press