Hockey coach molestation claims spiral
Eight boys make accusations
Eight boys as young as 6, including two Marblehead brothers, have stepped forward in the past week to accuse their private hockey coach of molesting them — and prosecutors say they don’t know where the fount of disturbing claims will end.
“I’ve frankly never seen anything like it, and I’m not sure where we’re headed,” assistant Essex District Attorney Kate MacDougall told Judge James L. LaMothe Jr. during a dangerousness hearing yesterday in Lynn District Court.
Lamothe ordered Christopher Prew, 31, held without bail on the first case to be brought forward, charging him with raping the 9-year-old son of a widow Prew romanced.
“He basically started by offering to teach the child how to skate, brought him to buy the equipment to skate, brought him to the rinks to teach him to skate . ... He had a lot of one-on-one time with the child,” Marblehead police officer Theresa Gay testified yesterday.
“I recognized him to be very bright and very willing to speak to me,” Gay said in praise of the third-grader. “He was excited to tell me about hockey ... but when he started speaking about Chris Prew he kind of kept to himself. He had his head down a couple times and he got red in the face.”
Prew is scheduled to return to court Feb. 21 for a second dangerousness hearing in connection with three new counts of indecent assault and battery on a child involving two more Marblehead boys. Prew pleaded not guilty yesterday.
Five additional player-students of Prew accused him of indecent assault and battery in a span of just 24 hours this week, including the siblings. Formal charges are pending on police interviews with the five children.
MacDougall said all the accusers are ages 6 to 11. Six are from Marblehead, a seventh was an exchange hockey player from Canada and the eighth lives outside of Essex County. MacDougall said the 6-year-old was allegedly assaulted in a hotel while traveling with Prew to a hockey tournament.
The boys’ families “are struggling with the reality” that they left their kids in the care of a man they trusted, she told the court. And while Prew’s attorney Sean Donahue was able to amass more than two dozen letters of glowing support for Prew, MacDougall said, “The commonwealth has unfortunately collected eight victims.”
State corporation records show Prew was president of Hot Shot Academy, a business providing athletic and educational services. Donahue said the 2004 Winthrop High graduate has also worked as a house painter, landscaper and personal trainer.
BAIL DENIED: Christopher Prew appears at a dangerousness hearing yesterday in Lynn District Court.