DARTMOUTH (CBS) — A Dartmouth police officer who is accused of raping a child appeared before a judge in New Bedford District Court Monday. Following his dangerousness hearing, Shawn Souza posted the $10,000 bail.
“I do make a finding that the defendant is dangerous but I believe that there are conditions for release,” said Judge Robert Ovoian.
Souza was ordered to wear a GPS and stay away from alleged victims. He is scheduled to appear in court next month.
Souza, a 10-year veteran of the force, is charged with rape of a child by force, rape of a child aggravated by age difference, and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person under 14 years old by a mandated reporter.
According to reacted records, the charges relate to two young women who were minors at the time of the alleged incidents eight years ago. The initial report was made to the Department of Children and Families.
Prosecutors presented the judge with video evidence.
Defense attorney Kevin Reddington told the court that Souza is innocent. “This is a very, very defensible case. Extremely defensible — with a gentleman who has the respect of many many people in the community,” he said.
“It’s just a garden variety rape case, allegations, and a delayed disclosure, any number of reasons why I think it’s a strong point for the defense,” said Reddington outside court.
Souza is a life-long resident of Dartmouth with no prior criminal record. The police department has placed him on administrative leave.
His ex-wife was also in court to ask for a restraining order, which the judge granted.