A Lawrence Police officer was convicted Tuesday in Salem Superior Court on charges he engaged in sexual acts with a 13-year-old boy he met on a dating app.
After deliberating for about four hours, a jury found 53-year-old Carlos Vieira guilty of two counts of aggravated rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. Judge Thomas Drechsler revoked Vieira’s bail and he was jailed pending sentencing scheduled for Nov. 4.
“This verdict makes clear that no one is above the law and this young man was victimized by someone he should have been able to trust,” Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett said.
Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall presented information in court showing in the late summer of 2018, the boy and the officer chatted through the social media app Grindr and arranged to meet at Mt. Vernon Park in Lawrence. The boy rode his bike to the park and got in Vieira’s SUV where they engaged in sexual acts.
Later, when the boy and his family were evacuating due to the gas explosions, he recognized the police officer directing traffic at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Beacon Streets. In January, 2019, the boy’s mother learned about the incident during a family conflict and contacted the district attorney’s office.