A former BPS official now living in South Carolina was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court yesterday on three counts of aggravated rape of a child and charges of posing a child in a state of nudity, possession of child sexual abuse materials and dissemination of materials harmful to a minor, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.
Michael McDonald, 40, allegedly groomed a boy to get him ready for sex and for posing for nude photos.
In addition to the Dearborn School in Roxbury, now the Dearborn STEM Academy, McDonald also worked at the Lila Frederick Pilot Middle School and the Condon School, as well as with youth programs at Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Boston, College for Every Student, The Trust Project and Straight Ahead Ministries, the DA's office says.
Judge Michael Doolin released McDonald on his own recognizance because McDonald's willingness to come back to Boston to face charges on his own indicated his readiness to make his court appearances, the DA's office reports. He was ordered to stay away from children and to surrender his passport.
According to the DA's office:
The survivor of the abuse, who is now an adult, met Mr. McDonald through his capacity as Dean of Students at the Dearborn Middle School. He ran a school-based program called “Live Brothers” and founded and operated a private program for male youth called “Family for Life.” Though the victim was too young to take part in the programs at the time, Mr. McDonald ingratiated himself to the victim’s family in order to gain their trust and secure access to the victim. He later became a mentor to the victim and used this position of power and trust to groom the victim – then a child - for abuse. The sexual assaults began in 2013 when the youth was only 15 years old. This conduct continued for a number of years. Massachusetts law, however, does not criminalize rape of a child once they turn 16, despite their continued vulnerability to coercive acts by adults in positions of authority. As a result, prosecutors are only able to pursue charges for aggravated statutory rape that occurred prior to the victim’s 16th birthday. ...
Mr. McDonald is also accused of photographing the victim in the nude and keeping those images. He additionally sent the victim a nude photograph of himself.
In a statement, DA Rachael Rollins said:
The victim’s family thought they were getting a mentor and role model for their loved one. Instead, they got Michael McDonald, a grown man now accused of using his position of trust to prey on a child. I;m so proud of the survivor in this case for coming forward to share his truth, despite the pain and trauma disclosure can sometimes create for survivors. There should be no shame associated with being targeted, groomed and violated. This young man did nothing wrong.
Rollins has fought for legislation to "make it a crime for adults in positions of authority or trust to engage in sexual relations with any minor under their supervision or care up to the age of 18. Positions of trust and authority include those of educators, caretakers, family members, coaches, clergy members and others who work with youth."