January 06, 2005

Congregant was jailed for 1980s sex assault

Boston Globe

By Caroline Louise Cole, Globe Correspondent | January 6, 2005

LAWRENCE -- A Dracut man, arrested by Methuen police for allegedly sexually assaulting the 9-year-old son of a fellow church member, served time in prison for sexual assault on a child in the early 1980s in Maine, law enforcement officials said yesterday.

But Kevin F. Curlew's conviction in Maine had been overturned on appeal, so he was not required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison, Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon said yesterday in an interview. Curlew moved to Massachusetts in 1989.

Curlew, 43, pleaded not guilty yesterday at his arraignment on three counts each of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, enticement of a child, and kidnapping. Lawrence District Court Judge Allen J. Jarasitis ordered him held without bail, pending a Jan. 12 dangerousness hearing.

Curlew was arrested Tuesday at the Methuen police station where he had been invited for questioning, after officials at the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Hill Street reported the alleged abuse to the state Department of Social Services.

The child told church officials that Curlew forced him to remove his pants and underwear on several occasions when his mother left him in Curlew's care, police said. Three of the occasions allegedly occurred in a church bathroom this past fall, while the child's mother was attending church meetings and while Curlew was watching her son along with several other children. On one occasion, Curlew allegedly kept the child from leaving a church bathroom and patted him on his buttocks, a police report on the case indicates.

Posted by kshaw at January 6, 2005 07:25 AM