A Massachusetts police officer accused of child rape was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing at his arraignment Tuesday.
Carlos Vieira, 49, was arraigned in Lawrence District Court on two counts each of aggravated rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.
Vieira was arrested without incident Monday in Haverhill following a month-long investigation, according to the Essex District Attorney’s Office.
During the arraignment, prosecutors said Vieira met a 13-year-old boy in the summer of 2018 through a gay social media app called GRINDR. He agreed to meet the boy at Mount Vernon Park in Lawrence where a sex act is alleged to have taken place in a dark SUV.
On Sept. 13, the day of the Merrimack Valley Gas explosions, prosecutors said the child allegedly saw an officer directing traffic in the vicinity of Mount Vernon and Beacon Street and recognized the officer as the same man he had the sexual encounter within the park.
The child did not know the man was an officer at the time. Investigators confirmed Vieira was paid for working on the day of the gas explosions.
It was then that the child's mother went to the district attorneys office and the investigation began.
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera expressed his anger at the allegations in a statement.
"If it is determined to be true, we will act quickly to remove the officer involved," Rivera said.
Vieira, a 19-year veteran of the police department, has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, according to Lawrence Police Department Chief Roy Vasque.
The judge in the case has impounded the police report.
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Vieira's dangerousness hearing is scheduled for March 1. He is represented by attorney Gil Nason.