A Lawrence police officer on Tuesday was found guilty of raping a 13-year-old boy in 2018, by a jury in Salem Superior Court, officials said.
Carlos Vieira, 53, was found guilty on two counts of aggravated rape of a child, as well as one count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, according to a statement from the Essex district attorney’s office. Vieira’s bail was revoked and he was taken into custody in court, prosecutors said in a statement.
Prosecutors said Vieira contacted the victim through the social media app Grindr in the late summer of 2018, the statement said. The two arranged to meet at Mount Vernon Park in Lawrence, and engaged in “sexual acts” in Vieira’s SUV, according to the statement.
The victim later recognized Vieira in uniform in September 2018, while the Lawrence police officer was directing traffic as part of the evacuation efforts during the Merrimack Valley gas explosions, the statement said.
The encounter was brought to light in January 2019, the statement said, after the victim’s mother learned about it and immediately reported it to the Essex district attorney’s office.
Vieira, who had served with the Lawrence Police Department since 1999, was placed on administrative leave shortly after his arrest, the Globe reported.
“The facts and circumstances surrounding this case are extremely troubling,” said Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque in the statement. “It is our hope that this verdict will give the victim and his family a sense of closure as they continue with the healing process”
Lawrence police could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday evening.
Vieira’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 4.