MARBLEHEAD — A 31-year-old hockey coach from Marblehead was indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury on Monday for allegedly raping a 9-year-old boy.
Christopher Prew faces charges of aggravated rape of a child and four counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. He is accused of indecently assaulting and orally raping the boy on various dates since last fall, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s office.
Prew was arrested by Marblehead Police last week and arraigned in Lynn District Court. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Wednesday, the DA’s office said.
The third-grader’s mother notified police of her son’s disclosure, which initiated an investigation, authorities said.
Prew is not affiliated with Marblehead Hockey Association, but provides private and group hockey sessions in the area, authorities said.
The Item does not name victims of sexual assault.
The boy’s mother told police she started receiving messages from Prew via Facebook starting in the summer of 2016, according to court documents. She said he offered to help her with the boy and to check on him periodically. The mother said she didn’t think it odd because her husband had died a few years ago and she accepted help from friends and family.
Prew was staying in a separate one-bedroom condominium the mother owned on Lee Street rent-free, she told police. In the fall of 2016, she said Prew offered to teach her son how to skate and took him shopping for hockey equipment. Prew took the boy to ice rinks to learn how to skate and the mother arranged for groups of kids to participate in training sessions where he would coach small groups of kids for cash, the police report said.
Earlier this month, the boy told his mother and investigators that on a number of occasions in the last few months Prew touched his private parts and made him touch Prew’s penis.
When the child told Prew to stop, that “it was weird and didn’t feel good,” Prew continued, the report said.
The offenses occurred on at least five occasions, three at the condo where Prew was staying and two at her nearby single-family home, court records said.
Prew’s attorney, Sean F. Donahue, declined to comment. But in a statement he said Prew and his family are devastated by the accusations.
“Over the next several weeks, my client, who, until recently, was intimately involved with the mother of the child, and I will closely examine these horrific accusations,” he said. “While child abuse laws aim to protect children, the justice system is set up to vindicate those who are wrongfully accused. We expect that Mr. Prew will eventually be vindicated.”