Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
A Quincy man was arrested Friday after allegedly impersonating a Groveland woman on an adult website and soliciting acts of kidnapping, rape and assault, Attorney General Maura Healey said.
Thomas Sheehan, 45, of Quincy, was arrested by Groveland Police with assistance from Massachusetts State Police assigned to the attorney general’s Office and Quincy Police. He was arrested on charges of solicitation to commit assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, solicitation to commit rape, solicitation to commit rape of a child and solicitation to commit kidnapping. Sheehan is expected to be arraigned Tuesday morning in Haverhill District Court.
“We allege that this defendant put this woman and her family in grave danger by impersonating her online, posting photos of her and her children and communicating with strangers who sought to do personal harm,” said Healey. “Our office is taking a serious look at whether the current laws appropriately address the severity of these alleged crimes.”
“This is a deeply disturbing situation, in which the suspect allegedly stole the identity of one of our residents and attempted to use their identity to cause significant harm to this person,” Groveland Police Chief Robert J. Kirmelewicz said. “I want to single out Groveland Police Detective Steven Petrone for his diligent work on this case. We are also very grateful to the attorney general’s Office and our law enforcement partners at the Quincy Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police. These strong partnerships and aggressive police work helped bring this suspect to justice.”
Police determined Sheehan was impersonating the Groveland woman on an adult website and communicating with people on the website who expressed an interest in stalking, raping, kidnapping and torturing the woman and her children at Sheehan’s request. The online profile of the Groveland woman Sheehan created was removed.
Law enforcement traced the account claiming to be the Groveland woman to Sheehan. The case was referred to the Healey’s Office by the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office and the Essex District Attorney’s Office.
State Police used a warrant to search a Quincy residence linked to Sheehan. Subsequent initial investigation of devices linked the account to Sheehan. The investigation is ongoing.