LYNNFIELD — A pediatric nurse practitioner at Boston Children’s Hospital has been fired after police accused him of sending inappropriate messages to a Lynnfield teen.
Andrew J. Reghitto, 30, was arrested by the Lynnfield Police Department with assistance from Massachusetts State Police last week and arraigned in Peabody District Court.
He is charged with one count of enticing a minor under 16 years old. If convicted, he faces up to five years in state prison.
“He was very smooth, he was grooming the girl,” said Lynnfield Police Chief David Breen.
Reghitto, a Brighton resident, was released on $2,500 bail and ordered to surrender his electronic devices, including computers and cellphone, not use social media, have no contact with anyone under 16, and to stay away from the victim and a witness, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.
Kristen Dattoli, a spokeswoman for Children’s Hospital, said Reghitto was placed on leave, which revoked his hospital privileges, as soon as they were notified by the authorities about the allegations.
“He has since been terminated,” she said.
Breen said Reghitto’s mother recently died and the girl and her mother, who knew him, attended the wake.
“He saw the girl, became enamoured, and got in touch with her through Facebook,” Breen said.
Reghitto switched to communicating with her through Snapchat, Breen said. The social media platform shares short-lived images and is popular among teens.
“I suspect the reason he did that is because the information and pictures are purged after a short time,” he said. “Many predators who try to entice young people use Snapchat because the material is not preserved.”
Once on Snapchat, police allege Reghitto became more provocative and graphic.
“Fortunately, the teen was smart enough to take screenshots and that’s how the evidence was preserved,” Breen said. “We are in the process of examining his phone.”
New England Cable News first reported the story.
Reghitto is expected to return to court on March 7 for a pretrial hearing, the DA said.
Reed Cutting Jr., Reghitto’s attorney, did not return a call for comment.
While this incident ended with an arrest and prosecution, Breen urged parents to be diligent about social media communications involving their children.