Chelsea school committee member faces child rape charge


BOSTON (SHNS) – A member of the Chelsea School Committee was arraigned Tuesday on child rape charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault on June 28.

Henry Wilson, 56, of Chelsea, also faces an enticement of a child charge in connection with a case in which the alleged victim is 12 years old, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said. According to the DA’s office, the victim during a forensic interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County said that on June 28 he was walking in the Broadway area of Chelsea when an adult male offered him a ride in his car.

The man drove him to a parking lot and sexually assaulted the child in the car, according to Rollins’ office, and parts of the assault were captured on a cellphone camera. Prosecutors said members of the victim’s family became aware of the assault on July 2 and went to the Chelsea Police Department to report it. Prosecutors said the alleged perpetrator was identified as Wilson, who agreed to speak with detectives on Monday, after which he was placed into custody.

“This man ran for office and is a member of the Chelsea School Committee. He was in a position of power and routinely sought out opportunities to surround himself with children. Now, he stands accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old child that is over four decades younger than him. My staff and I have been in contact with our law enforcement and community partners including the Chelsea Police Department and Chelsea Public Schools to ensure that services and resources are available to this child victim and his family,” Rollins said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “This little boy did nothing wrong. He is 12 years old and should be enjoying the end of summer before getting ready to return to school. Instead, he is dealing with this. It is heartbreaking.”

The DA’s office said Judge Matthew Machera imposed bail of $50,000, ordered Wilson to stay away from and have no contact with the victim and the victim’s family, to stay away from the victim’s home, to have no unsupervised contact with children under 18, and to hold no employment or volunteer work serving children.

Wilson was also ordered to remain in Massachusetts, be subject to GPS monitoring, and to surrender his passport. Prosecutors said they were precluded from moving for Wilson’s detention based on dangerousness because the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court “has ruled that statutory rape, even when aggravated by age, does not involve the predicate level of force or threat of force necessary to qualify under the dangerousness statute.”

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