State & Region Briefs

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Youth hockey coach facing another child assault charge

BOSTON — A youth hockey coach already charged with sexually abusing three young boys has been indicted for allegedly assaulting a fourth.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced Tuesday that 31-year-old Christopher Prew, of Marblehead, was indicted by a grand jury on one count of indecent assault and battery on a child he was familiar with through his job as a hockey coach.

The alleged incidents began in the child’s Newton home in 2015.

Prew was arraigned in Essex County earlier this month in connection with alleged assaults involving three other boys ranging in age from 6 to 11. He pleaded not guilty.

Prew’s attorney says his client denies all the allegations.

Prew was not affiliated with the local youth hockey organization, but gave private lessons.

Former jail guard found guilty in child rape case

SALEM — A former jail guard has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a child.

A jury Monday convicted 70-year-old Everette Hopper, of Lynn Haven, Florida, of child rape and indecent assault and battery. He was acquitted of disseminating obscene material to a minor. Hopper once worked at the Essex County jail in Middleton.

Prosecutors say Hopper sexually abused the victim for about a dozen years in the 1980s and 1990s in Beverly. The victim, now an adult, testified that Hopper apologized through Facebook messages. Jurors were shown screenshots of the messages.

An expert for the defense testified that Facebook messages can be “spoofed” by using a fake account.

Hopper’s sentencing is scheduled for March 16.

Civil rights group: Anti-Semitic incidents in Mass. on rise

BOSTON — The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Massachusetts grew dramatically in 2017 when compared to the previous year, a Jewish civil rights group reported Tuesday.

There were 177 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 79 Massachusetts communities last year, up 42 percent from 2016, the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement.

“Record numbers of communities are being impacted by anti-Semitism as disseminating hate becomes increasingly mainstream,” ADL New England Regional Director Robert Trestan said.

The incidents included harassment, vandalism, school threats, and threats made against Jewish institutions.

An 86 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents at the state’s schools is particularly troubling, the organization said. There were 93 reported incidents occurring in schools, compared with 50 in 2016.

In response, the ADL significantly expanded its anti-bias peer training and professional development programs, which has now reached more than 100 schools. The ADL’s Education Department provides trainings and resources across New England, reaching thousands of students, faculty and staff each year.

Among the examples of anti-Semitism in 2017 cited by the organization were vandalism to Boston’s Holocaust Memorial; knocked over headstones in the state’s third-oldest Jewish cemetery in Melrose; and white nationalist fliers distributed at Clark University in Worcester.

Acts of vandalism are concerning because they indicate that people feel emboldened enough to break the law, the ADL said.

The ADL’s annual numbers are based on anti-Semitic incidents reported to the organization’s New England office.

Police officers injured in car chase

REHOBOTH — Authorities say two police officers crashed into a suspected bank robber’s vehicle in Massachusetts, leading all three to be hospitalized.

Police received a call from a Swansea bank reporting the robbery around 4:56 p.m. Monday. The 36-year-old suspect left the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash, and police officers spotted a vehicle matching the one the suspect fled in a short time later in Rehoboth.

Police say the suspect refused to stop and drove over a lawn before his vehicle collided with two police cruisers.

The Rehoboth police chief says the two pursing officers were hospitalized as a precaution. The robbery suspect was also hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.

The suspect is facing charges that include armed robbery while masked and assault with a dangerous weapon.

From Associated Press