Police Officer Charged With Child Rape Appears in Court

A Massachusetts police officer charged with child rape appeared in court Monday for a dangerousness hearing.

Dartmouth Police Officer Shawn Souza was arrested Thursday at the Dartmouth Police Station by a state trooper assigned to the Bristol District Attorney's Office.

Bail was set at $10,000 during Monday's court appearance. Souza's lawyer said he expects his client to post bail.

Souza, 37, of Dartmouth, is charged with rape of a child by force, rape of a child - aggravated by age difference and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person under 14 years old by a mandated reporter, according to the district attorney's office. Investigators said all of the alleged incidents happened in Dartmouth.

He had been ordered held without bail pending Monday's dangerousness hearing during his arraignment at New Bedford District Court on Friday.

The court also ordered all reports associated with the case impounded to protect the identities of the victims.

Dartmouth police officials were notified of the allegations after receiving a 51A report from state child welfare officials, and then immediately contacted the district attorney's special victims unit to request an investigation. A 51A report is filed in any case of suspected or alleged abuse of a child.

Souza is on paid administrative leave as a result of being charged, according to Dartmouth Police Chief Brian Levesque. Souza's department-issued firearm and badge have also been seized. Levesque added the rape and indecent assaults Souza is accused of committing did not happen while he was on duty.

No other details about the allegations were provided by investigators; however, Souza's attorney revealed more details in a statement to the media.

"These specious allegations are alleged to have occurred 10 years ago involving a family member and a relative," attorney Kevin Reddington said in the statement. "Mr. Souza has moved on from that relationship and is presently with a woman who is very supportive."

Reddington added that his client has pleaded not guilty to the charges and that he will work toward getting an acquittal.

Contact Us