Chism faces new charge of raping Danvers teacher

A Danvers teenager accused of sexually assaulting and killing his math teacher in October is now facing a second rape charge in connection with the attack, the Essex district attorney’s office said Friday.

The same grand jury that indicted Philip D. Chism, now 15, on charges of murder, armed robbery, and aggravated rape returned an indictment Friday on a new aggravated rape count in the slaying of Colleen Ritzer, 24, a teacher at Danvers High School.

Investigators said after the October killing that Ritzer had been sexually assaulted with an unidentified object. The new indictment “alleges that [Chism] forcibly had sexual intercourse” with Ritzer, District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s office said.


Chism’s public defender declined to comment Friday. Chism pleaded not guilty to the prior charges in December and is being held without bail. He will probably be arraigned on the new count Thursday during a pretrial conference, Blodgett’s office said.

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Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for Blodgett, declined to discuss details of the new indictment, including what evidence led to it or where the alleged rape took place.

Kimball Monahan said those details were presented to the grand jury, which hears evidence in closed proceedings. “I’m precluded from discussing that evidence until it’s presented in [open] court,” she said.

Chism, a student of Ritzer’s, allegedly followed her into a bathroom at the high school shortly before 3 p.m. on Oct. 22 and slashed her throat, partially stripped her of her clothing, and stole her cellphone, credit cards, and two driver’s licenses. Her body was then carted in a recycling bin to a wooded area behind the school.

A spokesman for the Ritzer family said Friday that family members had no comment on the new indictment.


It came down one day after the family had released a statement backing a bill pending in the Legislature to require juveniles convicted of first-degree murder to serve at least 35 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole, in response to a Supreme Judicial Court ruling that struck down life sentences without the possibility of parole for minors.

“As we have shared before, there will never be ‘parole’ for our family’s life sentence without Colleen,” her family said.

Travis Andersen can be reached at or on Twitter @TAGlobe.