A former Lawrence police officer was sentenced Friday to 10 to 12-years in state prison for raping a child under the age of 14, the Essex district attorney’s office said.
Carlos Vieira, 53, was convicted of two counts of aggravated rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 on Oct. 25, the Essex district attorney’s office said in a statement. Prosecutors had requested a 12 to15 year sentence.
Vieira was also sentenced to five years of probation upon completion of his prison term, the statement said. He must also stay away from and have no contact with the victim and his family; seek and complete sex offender evaluation and treatment; register as a sex offender; and have no unsupervised contact with children under 16.
Prosecutors said Vieira contacted the victim through the social media app Grindr in the late summer of 2018, the Globe reported. The two arranged to meet at Mount Vernon Park in Lawrence and engaged in “sexual acts” in Vieira’s SUV.
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 encounter was brought to light in January 2019 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.
Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in the statement that Vieira’s conduct was an affront to the community he swore to protect.
“It’s important to acknowledge that many people were impacted by this defendant’s criminal behavior,” Blodgett said. “The victim and his entire family will never be the same. I hope that they can now find some healing and peace.”
Adam Sennott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.