Former Hopkinton Deputy Police Chief John “Jay” Porter entered a plea of not guilty to three counts of child rape during a noon hearing at Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn on Tuesday.
The alleged incidents occurred nearly two decades ago, in September 2004 and June 2005, while Porter served as a school resource officer in Hopkinton and the alleged victim was a 15-year-old sophomore, according to Thomas Brant, the deputy chief of the Middlesex Country District Attorney’s Office.
Brant said that based on evidence the District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police gathered over the past several months, Porter “became acquainted with a young female student” at school at a time when she was “very vulnerable.”
Brant described two specific altercations that bookended the 2004-05 school year. He said the first alleged incident occurred when he “volunteered to take the young female home” in September 2004 but stopped on the way and engaged in “two specific types” of sexual acts. The other event took place in June 2005, when Brant said there was “an assault and an oral rape.”
Brant said the alleged victim had placed her trust in Porter as a police officer and school resource officer.
“She is very much in fear of Officer Porter,” Brant said, noting that the woman now has “a young family” with two children who attend school in Hopkinton. Because Porter does not have any previous charges against him, Brant asked that Special Magistrate Michael A. Sullivan allow Porter to be released on his own personal recognizance but be monitored by a GPS ankle bracelet. He also requested that “exclusion zones” be considered for the alleged victim’s home, work address and the two schools her children attend.
Brant noted that the charges would have been more severe had the alleged incidents occurred about three years later, when the state enacted a law codifying the charge of aggravated rape.
Porter was represented by Worcester-based attorney Leonardo Angiulo.
“Obviously, this is the most serious thing a person can be accused of,” Angiulo said. “But it is an allegation that we are challenging.
“He has not tried to run,” Angiulo said of Porter during the discussion about the GPS tracking device. “He has not tried to seek out anybody who may have made an allegation.”
Angiulo added that while the allegations are “very serious, the state has no particularized evidence.”
At that point, Sullivan called for a sidebar, which lasted about three minutes. Porter, wearing a black suit and a bright red shirt with a tie, sat straight and stared ahead while he awaited the outcome of the discussion.
Sullivan set a trial schedule conference date for May 24. Through the clerk, he said that Porter should be fitted with a GPS ankle monitoring device and was restricted from going near the woman’s home or workplace or the two schools her children attend. Porter also was told that he could not be in possession of a firearm.
If these actions are violated, Sullivan could face a minimum fine of $50,000, as well as have the monitoring privilege revoked.
Angiulo said that his client turned in his firearm when he announced his intention to retire from the Hopkinton Police Department on April 28. The charges against him were made public three days later.
Porter was placed on administrative leave from the force last summer while the investigation was ongoing, although the details were not made public.
Shortly before his leave, Porter was honored for his 30 years of service to the department, working his way up from an officer to a detective to deputy chief.
Porter began his career in his hometown of Upton, serving as an officer for a couple of years before moving to Hopkinton. According to a feature in the Hopkinton Independent on his three decades of service, he said his interactions with Upton police officers during a troubled time in his childhood motivated him to become a police officer. He described his father as “an abusive person” in that article.
The 54-year-old Porter has been married for 28 years and has two children. He has coached girls high school soccer since 2010, first as freshman coach at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough and then as head coach of the varsity team at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School in Upton since 2014. He resigned from his position at Blackstone Valley Tech on April 28, the same day he retired from the HPD.