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East Boston school aide convicted of repeatedly raping student

A paraprofessional at the Mario Umana Academy was convicted this week of raping a developmentally disabled student five times in 2015 and 2016, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury on Tuesday convicted Jose Melendez, 55 on five of eight counts of aggravated statutory rape of a child under 14, the DA's office reports. He will be sentenced on June. 17.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Paull of Hayden’s Child Protection Unit presented evidence and testimony at trial to prove that Melendez, while employed as a paraprofessional at the Mario Umana Academy, repeatedly raped a developmentally disabled student. The victim was in the sixth and seventh grades when the assaults occurred. Despite significant limitations in his ability to communicate, the victim was able to disclose the abuse to a family member. That disclosure led to an investigation by the Boston Police Department and Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office that resulted in indictments in March 2020.

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Comments

Let there be a special place in hell for those that harm children.

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Voting closed 53

With that said, the hypocrisy here is palpable. If this was a cop the comments would be 50 deep four hours in.

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Vulnerable kids are out here getting raped, but the real victims here are the cops who face tough criticism from random internet commenters.

The urge to "if this was a cop" stories like this is wild.

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Wouldn’t you?

Hook, line and sinker…

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Why’d you take the bait? Why’d you double down? This story isn’t about cops. But you're here to remind us that boys in blue (and their supporters) are always the victim, always misunderstood… that you’re always ready to take the bait and turn a horrible story about pedophelia into “back the blue” grievance.

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Voting closed 45

I don’t ‘back the blue’ as you say. I’ve found people here are very assuming on peoples stances. If you disagree with the herd you’re either a trump supporter or a blue lives matter supporter, which I’m neither, but keep assuming.

Do you think the comment section would be a little more ‘busy’ if this was a cop? That’s my only point.

Why are teachers and cops not held to the same level? Both have a lot of power, but teachers keep getting free passes at failing our kids.

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The BPPA thanks you for your full-throated defense of cops who were in no way criticized in this thread.

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For allowing them to continue to fail without accountability.

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Yes, tblade is the reason BPS sucks. Hilarious.

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I think robo might be commenting more on the leanings of the uHub crowd rather than trying to make the discussion about cops. Just like how Adam's nonstop postings regarding murders in Roxbury/Dorchester/Mattapan* get zero comments but an article about bike lanes will hit 200.

*Thank you Adam for covering these... the Globe certainly doesn't.

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...he's being a train-wrecking derail machine.

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You comment on everything and provide nothing of substance in your postings. Must be a western MA thing…. I wouldn’t know since I live in Boston.

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Call the sharks - we have another one: IMAGE(https://www.agassizharrisonobserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/16045971_web1_Cull2-Sealion-20feb19-1024x683.jpg)

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Systemic racism for that. People on the left need to realize they’re also part of the problem and that their policies result in more deaths for the people who are most downtrodden in life. You hit the nail on the head with your assessment.

Yes, thank you Adam, for covering the incessant amount of shootings that always seem to happen in the same neighborhoods that the Boston globe refuses to cover. Why does the media hide and bury these shootings?

The narrative may be changing. CNN did report on the mass shootings in cities over the weekend but likely only because of what happened in Uvalde. It generally doesn’t matter to the media if non white people are doing the killing of other non white people, unless the use an AR-15 or something like that to shoot up a school. It’s sad and is a big part of the systemic racism that exists in this country.

If we as democrats care about this at all, we would hold the media more accountable in reporting the constant terror some neighborhoods face every single day. Doing nothing is contributing to the problem.

Thank you again to Adam for reporting these incidents. Perhaps some will comment on the shootings more in the future. The disparity in total comments on various articles is very telling, as robo said.

As for this child rapist, they should be locked up for 50 years.

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Well none of my teaching colleagues make 200-300k for one...

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Please forgive me for assuming. When your take on a child sex abuse case is “the cops are held to too high a standard!” then I can’t help but assume that you’re a back the blue dummy — again, please forgive me! It’s just that people who aren’t back the blue dummies don’t typically offer up such trash takes.

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First you assume I’m something I’m not - great start. Then your interpretation, which I spelled out very clearly, is way off. Where did I say cops are held to too high of standard? I said teachers are getting free passes hence the lack of comments here on uhub. That’s all.

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You’re right, you didn’t say that cops are held to too high of standard. What you did do is bring up the cops (“if this was a cop…”) in a completely unrelated story. I don’t get why you did this. It’s a scummy argument: there’s a victim here (a child), yet you’re bringing up the cops as the victim (summarizing: if this was a cop, there’d be so many comments but there’s a double-standard where teachers get a pass and cops are treated unfairly). Don’t do that! Don’t take a child’s horrible experience and victimhood and turn it into your own agenda!

(I do stand by the fact that people who aren’t back the blue dummies don’t typically offer up such trash takes — or rather, if you don’t want people to assume you’re a back the blue dummy, don’t try to use a child’s victimization to make a point about how unfair people are to the police.)

Edit: this is pretty much what tblade said in his initial reply.

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Voting closed 23

You made a bunch of assumptions.

Take a deep breath. I just noticed something interesting with the uhub crowd on what they comment on. You’re reading way into it with your high and mighty posts.

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Because cops are (supposed to be) held to a higher standard than pretty much anyone else.

So, yes.

Funny how they're actually spineless whiny snowflakes.

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Except that teachers should be held to maybe not as high of a standard as cops, but much higher than an average citizen.

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No: https://www.universalhub.com/2020/transit-cop-charged-raping-two-women-h...

Now, if you want to show me stories about the former head of a Boston Police union accused of rape, perhaps his leadership position and not his job are driving those discussions.

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This is the tip of the iceberg, folks with disabilities are pretty consistently being abused, neglected, or otherwise failed at pretty much every opportunity.

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I commented under another story about this but I used to work in this industry (as IT) and used to go to the group homes. I questioned what care/support these people were getting. Some of the attitude of the workers toward them... I felt bad for many of the clients.

My mom worked for over a decade in this field (~85-94) and it was a lot different. Back then they were still figuring out the best plan for these folks (esp for many who were in 'training facilities' or 'mental wards' before group homes). I met many of mom's coworkers.. and many of the clients. This gave me a understanding of people with disabilities very early.

But the one thing I never got from any of mom's coworkers was that clients were neglected or improperly being cared for. EVER.

What I saw at where I worked. Not so much. It made me sad cuz I knew better care existed. I am sure my childhood memories are warped.. but still..

But this is what you get when you pay not much more than retail. Everyone likes to complain about retail employees... now remember much of the same calibre of people would be applying for direct care (or in this case, a paraprofessional).

Simply put, pay people more and people tend to care more about their jobs and what they are doing.

Sigh, and these folks are the vulnerable and many cannot speak for themselves.

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Most public school special ed programs and a number of adult services providers use ABA approaches in which students are taught to always immediately follow adult directions, not trust themselves that something feels wrong, not advocate that they need to do things differently, and are specifically taught not to say no to adults or neurotypical peers.

Yes, obviously the alleged rapist is responsible, since, you know, people need to choose not to rape, but the ableist disability education culture bears some responsibility as well.

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