Massachusetts police officer accused of rape of 13-year-old boy he met on Grindr

Carlos Vieira, a police officer in Lawrence, Massachusetts, sits in court

A police officer in Massachusetts has been accused of raping a 13-year-old boy he met on Grindr.

Carlos Vieira, 49, was charged with two counts of aggravated rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 at Lawrence District Court on Tuesday (February 26), according to CBS Boston.

Vieira and the boy allegedly started talking on Grindr in summer 2018 before meeting in the local Mount Vernon Park and engaging in sexual acts, according to prosecutor Kim Faitella.

Watch a report on Massachusetts officer Carlos Vieira being charged:

The boy reportedly kept quiet until he and his family were evacuated after the Merrimack Valley gas explosions in September, when a fault in natural gas lines caused more than 80 fires in Massachusetts towns, including Lawrence.

He allegedly recognised Vieira while the officer was directing traffic, according to Boston 25 News.

The teenager’s mother reportedly avoided going to the police, since Vieira was an officer, and instead asked her attorney to get in touch with the district attorney.

A month-long investigation resulted in Vieira’s arrest on Monday (February 25).

Prosecutor Kim Faitella speaks in court about a case involving Massachusetts police officer Carlos Vieira

Prosecutor Kim Faitella said Massachusetts officer Carlos Vieira and the boy started talking on Grindr in summer 2018 (CBS Boston)

Vieira told police that he was directing traffic at the intersection at the same time the boy said he saw him, according to CBS Boston.

The officer, who has been in the Lawrence Police Department since 1999, is being held without bail and has been placed on administrative leave by the police department.

Defence attorney for Massachusetts officer Carlos Vieira responds to charges

Vieira’s defence attorney, Gil Nason, told CBS Boston: “The big question here is identification as to whether or not they even picked the right person.”

He added: “That’s an accusation. That’s sometimes all it takes. As far as we know, there is no DNA, there’s no forensics in this case.

“It’s just an I.D. of somebody saying something. And that’s why we’re here.”

Nason continued: “Maybe [the victim] is telling the truth, maybe he just has the wrong person.”

Authorities react in horror to child rape charges against Massachusetts police officer

In a statement to Boston 25 News, Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera said he was “angry, sickened, dismayed, saddened by the allegations and charges.”

“We have worked very hard to improve and uplift the professionalism of the Lawrence Police Department,” added the mayor of the Massachusetts city.

“If found to be true we will move swiftly to remove the officer involved. This is a travesty.”

— Dan Rivera, mayor of Lawrence, Massachusetts

“We have fired and forced out many officers who did not meet and could not stand up to the code of conduct and the high level of professionalism that my office, the chief of police and the men and women and leadership of the Police Unions have worked to establish.

“If found to be true we will move swiftly to remove the officer involved. This is a travesty.”

Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque told the local TV channel that the police moved to place Vieira on administrative leave “immediately after the department was notified of his arrest by the Massachusetts State Police.”

He added: “This is an ongoing investigation, but the allegations against Officer Vieira are extremely troubling, and we take them very seriously.”