Week that was

Week that was

Pawtucket man found guilty of molestation

Attorney Gen. Peter Kilmartin announced last week that Superior Court Justice Daniel Procaccini found Julio Morais, 50, with a last known address of 23 Walker St. in Pawtucket, guilty of four counts of first degree child molestation. Procaccini issued the verdict after a three-day trial.

During the course of the jury-waived trial, state prosecutors proved beyond a reasonable doubt that starting in 2002, Morais molested a young girl, the daughter of a girlfriend he subsequently married, from the time she was about seven to 13 years of age. Morais intimidated his victim into not telling anyone of the abuse because he told her no one would believe her and she would get into trouble.

The victim reported the molestation in September 2010, when she was 15, by writing a letter to her church leader seeking advice about a "friend" who fell away from the church because she was molested for years. She asked if God would punish her "friend" for not telling. Church leaders contacted the police and the Department of Children Youth and Families. The victim is 18 years old today.

"Not only did this young victim have to endure the horror of being sexually molested at such a young age, but she also lived in fear of her family being ripped apart if she told anyone," said Kilmartin in a statement. "No person, especially a child, should have to endure this type of abuse at the hands of someone who is supposed to be there to protect and care for them. It is my hope that today's verdict gives comfort to the victim and give others who may have suffered abuse as a child the strength to come forward to report the abuse and hold the perpetrators accountable."

The Pawtucket Police Department investigated the molestation, with the assistance of Hasbro Children's Hospital. Special Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Child Abuse Unit Shannon Signore prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.