Former Athol man pleads not guilty to child sexual abuse charges

Staff Writer
Published: 7/28/2021 5:12:25 PM

ORANGE — A Springfield man was arraigned in Orange District Court on Tuesday on more than two dozen charges related to the alleged sexual assault of two children.

Jose Oquendo, 48, formerly of Athol, pleaded not guilty to seven counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14; seven counts of indecent assault and battery on a child over 14; four counts of rape; five counts of aggravated rape of a child; four counts of rape of a child with force; one count of aggravated rape of a child, aggravated by age difference; and one count of posing/exhibiting a child in a sexual act. The charges are related to incidents in Phillipston and Athol between 2013 and 2020, according to a press release from the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

Oquendo’s arrest came following a nine-month investigation conducted by the Athol Police Department, the release states. He was taken into custody at the Athol Police Station on Monday by Detective Douglas Kaczmarczyk and Officer Courtney Call, who had conducted the investigation. According to the release, Oquendo was taken to the Franklin County Jail and House of Correction in Greenfield and held on $500,000 cash bail pending arraignment.

During Tuesday’s arraignment, Judge Laurie MacLeod set Oquendo’s bail at $100,000 cash, as requested by Assistant District Attorney Linda Pisano, head of the Child Abuse Unit of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office. According to the release, Oquendo was represented in court by defense attorney Dan Mitchell of the Committee for Public Counsel Services.

MacLeod ordered Oquendo to report to probation regularly, avoid contact with children under 16, stay away from the alleged victims in the case and wear an electronic monitoring device, the release states. A pretrial hearing has been set for Aug. 24.

Reach Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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