State & Region Briefs

Friday, June 08, 2018
Man charged with abandoning kittens near highway

WRENTHAM — Police say they now know who left a “steaming hot” carrier containing five kittens by the side of a Massachusetts highway.

Wrentham police announced Thursday that 32-year-old Alex Rodriguez, of Easton, was charged with five counts of animal cruelty. He will be summoned to court in the future to answer to the charges.

The kittens, estimated to be just weeks old, were discovered inside the pet carrier by a passing motorist on May 29 by the side of Interstate 495. It was unclear how long they had been there.

They were taken to the King Philip Animal Rescue in Plainville where they continue to recover. They will eventually be available for adoption.

A working number for Rodriguez could not immediately be located and it’s unclear if he has a lawyer.

Father of 2 facing child porn charges

ATTLEBORO — An Attleboro father of two has been charged with possessing and distributing thousands of pictures and videos of child pornography.

The Sun-Chronicle reports that 45-year-old Michael Conroy was arraigned Thursday and freed after posting $10,000 bail. A not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

Investigators seized his computer, his phone and a portable hard drive after detectives linked his IP address to images that were hosted on a file-sharing website. Police say he had been downloading child pornography for years.

Prosecutors had asked for a $100,000 bond. Conroy’s attorney argued for a low bond, saying his client had no criminal record and was not a risk to flee.

Conroy was ordered to have no contact with children except his own.

Child rape suspect arrested in Nevada

WOBURN — A man who fled the state before his trial on child rape and other charges has been arrested in Nevada.

Daniel Escalante, of Marlborough, was indicted in 2015 on charges that he assaulted three girls between 2001 and 2012.

The 43-year-old Escalante faces five counts of child rape with force, two counts of assault with intent to rape a child and four counts of indecent assault and battery against a child younger than 14.

He was scheduled for trial in October but didn’t show up. He was arrested in Reno last month where he was living under an alias and transported back to Massachusetts on Wednesday.

He was held without bail Thursday until a hearing scheduled for Monday. It could not be determined if he has a lawyer.

Police: Restaurant owner set up camera in bathroom

BROOKLINE — The owner of a Boston-area restaurant already facing child rape charges faces new charges of secretly video recording customers using the bathroom in his establishment.

Tze Chung, owner of Taam China in Brookline, was held on $7,500 bail Friday after not-guilty pleas to 15 counts of illegal recording were entered on his behalf. He was arrested Thursday.

Court records show the 63-year-old Weston man was already free on $100,000 bail after pleading not guilty last month to charges including child rape for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl known to him.

Police say the camera may have been in the restaurant since 2015 and Chung may have recorded multiple victims on as many as 20 different days.

Chung’s sister, Connie, doesn’t believe the allegations and says her brother was set up.

From Associated Press