A felon with a voluminous criminal record was ordered held without bail Tuesday on child rape charges after authorities contended he poses too great a threat to society to be released.
With permission from Judge James Coffey, Erroll Foreman, 49, hid behind a door in Dorchester Municipal Court as a prosecutor described how he allegedly raped his girlfriend’s 10-year-old niece last Thursday while he was supposed to be driving her to a summer program.
Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Maryrose Anthes said Foreman first met the girl July 26 and drove her to her summer program July 30. A day later, Anthes said, Foreman picked the girl up at her aunt’s home in Mattapan about 7:30 a.m., drove her to an undisclosed location in Dorchester, and raped her.
When a woman walked by the car, prosecutors allege, Foreman drove to a different area and raped the girl again. Then he dropped her off at the summer program, where she told a director what had happened, authorities said.
“Just hours after she was attacked by the defendant, she gave a detailed account of being raped,’’ Anthes said in court.
Defense attorney Courtney C. Linnehan asked Coffey to set bail at $25,000 cash and said Foreman’s criminal history was not as lengthy as it seemed because court records contained some duplicate offenses. Outside the courtroom, Linnehan said her client “vehemently denies” that he sexually assaulted the child.
“He is, under the circumstances, I would say holding up very well,” Linnehan said in an interview.
She said she did not believe any of Foreman’s family or friends were in the courtroom Tuesday to support him, though he has five children. He works as a freelance mechanic, she said.
Prosecutors described Foreman as a career criminal and plan to argue during a dangerousness hearing on Thursday that he should not be released under any circumstance before trial.
“The defendant has a 10-page record that dates back to 1984 with 52 arraignments in total,” Anthes told the judge. She referred to a conviction for raping a child in 1986, as well as later sentences for stalking and assault and battery. Foreman was accused of rape again in 1997 and 2005, she said, but was not convicted.
Court records show the alleged victim in the 2005 case declined to testify, so prosecutors said they could not go forward with the case.
Foreman was accused multiple times of failure to register as a Level 3 sex offender, according to court filings, but his name does not appear in searches on the state Sex Offender Registry Board website.
A spokesman for the board on Tuesday said in a statement that his organization was “deeply troubled” by the latest allegations against Foreman, and officials’ “thoughts are with the victim and her family.” Citing legal restrictions, he declined to comment at length about Foreman specifically but indicated the registration obligation of offenders stops 20 years after their cases end or they are released from prison.
At that point, he said, the board must remove the offender’s name from the registry and website. Court filings indicate Foreman’s first sex-related conviction was in 1987 for the previous child rape case.
Foreman’s court history also includes allegations that he assaulted a police officer in 1995 and his former girlfriend in 1998.
In 2012, he was accused of trying to intimidate workers from the Office of the Suffolk County District Attorney, but prosecutors dropped the case, citing insufficient evidence.Zachary T. Sampson
can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @ZackSampson.