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Dedham officer accused of role in kidnapping of man now feared dead

A Dedham police officer was arrested Wednesday for allegedly allowing the mastermind of the kidnapping of an Avon man to use his department-issued equipment, including his badge, to persuade the victim to leave his home, officials said.

The victim, James Robertson, 37, disappeared Jan. 1 has not been seen since, and is presumed dead, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office said in a statement.

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Dedham police Officer Michael Schoener was arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham on Wednesday, and he pleaded not guilty to accessory before the fact of kidnapping, according to Morrissey’s office.

Bail was set at $5,000 cash.

James Feeney, 44, of Dedham, is alleged to have masterminded the kidnapping and is currently being held on $500,000 cash bail.

“It is alleged that Schoener gave his Dedham Police Department issued badge, handcuffs, and empty holster to the mastermind of the kidnapping, James Feeney, and that Schoener also used department equipment to provide Feeney with a photograph and board of probation record of the victim, James Robertson,’’ Morrissey’s office said in a statement.

Schoener, 40, of Dedham, was indicted following a grand jury investigation into his alleged role in Robertson’s disappearance. A total of four men have been charged in the kidnapping, during which Robertson was lured away from his home by men with guns and badges.

“Robertson has not been seen since that Jan. 1, 2014, encounter and is presumed dead,’’ Morrissey’s office said.

In a statement, Dedham Police said that Schoener was placed on leave following his arrest Wednesday on the indictment warrant. “There are ongoing criminal and internal investigations underway,’’ the statement said.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.
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