Police say Mass. teacher posed as teenager online before coaxing boy to sneak out of house at night
BRENTWOOD — A Massachusetts middle school math teacher posed as a teenager in an online chat forum and struck up a relationship with a 15-year-old Stratham boy who he allegedly convinced to sneak out of his home at night for sex, according to a police affidavit.
Darrell E. Keene, 40, of Haverhill, Mass., waived his probable cause hearing in 10th Circuit Court, Brentwood Division, on Tuesday. He is facing a single count of aggravated felonious sexual assault for allegedly having sex with the boy on the night of May 4, a court complaint says.
His bail was converted to $30,000 surety, allowing him to be released from the Rockingham County jail. Keene, who will wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, is barred from using of a computer or any other web or digital device, according to Stratham police prosecutor William Hart. A judge ordered Keene to be randomly monitored by a bail bondsman and the police department, Hart said.
Police detailed in an affidavit how they identified a person who only went by the initial ‘D’ in the chat room as Keene, an 8th grade math teacher at West Middle School in Andover, Mass. The boy’s father reported to police on May 13 that he believed his son was having an inappropriate sexual relationship with an adult male, police said.
The boy’s mother went through her son’s cellphone “and noticed an inappropriate text message” between her son and the person referring to himself as ‘D’, according to police.
“The individual who went by the initial D portrayed himself as being 17 years of age in a chat room designed strictly for 13- to 17-year- old subscribers,” Stratham Detective Sgt. David Pierce said in a sworn affidavit. “After chatting for approximately two weeks, (the boy) and the individual going by ‘D’ discussed (him) sneaking out of the house around 11 p.m. and meeting at a designated location that ‘D’ would be waiting in his car.”
Police say that the boy and Keene had been chatting using a mobile social-networking application called, Skout. The program uses a cellphone’s global positioning technology to help users find like-minded individuals who are geographically close to each other.
Aside from his teaching job, Keene also served as an artistic director at the Spotlight Playhouse in Haverhill, Mass., according to court records. His case will now be handed over to county prosecutors who could present his case to a grand jury for possible indictment.