Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley and Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes today announced criminal charges and an active investigation arising out of an alleged sexual assault on a child at a Chelsea youth center this summer.
Vriky Santos (D.O.B. 8/2/91) of Chelsea is charged with aggravated rape for allegedly sexually assaulting a pre-teen boy at Explorer Post 109, located within the Chelsea Community Fitness Center on Shurtleff Street in mid-July. Santos was a volunteer advisor at the post.
At his arraignment in Chelsea District Court today, Assistant District Attorney Ursula Knight recommended that he be held on $50,000 cash bail, with orders that he stay away from all children under 16, wear a GPS tracking device, and surrender any passport or travel documents if he posts that amount. Judge Stephen Abany imposed $10,000 cash bail and the recommended conditions of release.
Chelsea Police sexual assault detectives and Suffolk prosecutors assigned to the DA’s Child Protection Unit are leading the investigation into that incident and whether similar incidents took place.
Regardless of whether they frequented the community center, parents and caregivers are asked to reassure children that they can talk to them about anything, especially including anything that might make them afraid or uncomfortable, and that they will be supported and won’t get in trouble.
“Parenting is a tough enough job without being a forensic interviewer, too” Conley said. “We don’t want children feeling pressure to disclose abuse. We want them to feel comfortable telling the truth, even if it seems scary or embarrassing to them at first.”
“Chelsea Police and Suffolk prosecutors have extensive training and can interview kids sensitively and appropriately about cases like this one,” Kyes said. “If you suspect abuse, you don’t have to push them for answers. You can call us for help.”
Authorities first learned of the charged incident when the victim disclosed the abuse to friends and then personnel at a Chelsea school; the school in turn notified Chelsea Police. Based on interviews with the boy, his mother, and Santos, Chelsea Police arrested Santos last night and secured the scene pending the execution of a search warrant. Explorer Post 109 has agreed to remain closed pending the execution of a search warrant and subsequent investigation.
Anyone with information on the incident, or who wishes to report the abuse of a child in Suffolk County, can call the DA’s Child Protection Unit at 617-619-4300. Chelsea Police detectives can be also reached at 617-466-4843.
Kate Lagana is the DA’s assigned victim-witness advocate. Santos was represented today by attorney Terry Slater. He will return to court on Oct. 10.