Lawrence, MA– According to the Essex District Attorney’s Office, a Lawrence police officer has been arrested and is being held without bail on two charges of aggravated rape of a child as well as two charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, as reported by CBS Boston. Vieira was arraigned in Lawrence District Court on Tuesday. A dangerousness hearing is scheduled for today, Friday March 1st.
Carlos Vieira, a 49-year-old police officer with the Lawrence Police Department, was arrested in Haverhill on Monday, February 25, 2019. The arrest was made after a month-long investigation into the alleged assaults.
The investigation began in January 2019 when the mother of the victim reached out to contact the DA. According to reports, the mother claimed that her 13-year-old son had met with Officer Vieira at a park after connecting via social media application Grindr. Vieira allegedly engaged in sexual activity with the victim during the summer of 2018. The victim did not speak out until he recognized the officer directing traffic during the gas explosion crisis in September 2018. However, Vieira's defense attorney Gil Nason has said that they believe this is a case of misidentification.
Vieira has stated that he is "distraught" and "stunned" by the accusations and that he has no connection to the victim. The police department veteran has received numerous awards for his service and also served as a Marine.
Officer Vieira has been with the Lawrence Police Department since November 1999. Once this incident was brought to the department’s attention, Vieira was immediately put on administrative leave. The investigation is still ongoing.
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera provided a statement on Monday after the arrest. Rivera claimed that he was “angry” and “sickened” after hearing the news. He stated that if all allegations are found to be true, the officer will be officially removed from the department and will be dealt with by the Massachusetts Court System. Rivera also stated that the town had worked very hard in recent years to make sure all officers met the code of conduct and professionalism. Any violations of the code of conduct, in particular criminal violations, will not be tolerated.