A Massachusetts judge ordered a hockey coach accused of sexually assaulting children to be held without bail Friday.
Christopher Prew, 31, faced a judge at Salem Superior Court. A youth hockey coach in Marblehead, Prew had previously been indicted on five counts of sexually assaulting young boys. Prosecutors say he used his position as a coach to coerce his victims.
"Young boys, wherever located, are at risk if they come into contact with Mr. Prew," said Judge Timothy Feeley.
Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said the alleged conduct occurred on multiple occasions in the victim's Newton home beginning in 2015.
Judge Feeley said that he had been leaning on granting bail to Prew, but that the strongly worded letters from about 20 members of the Marblehead community changed his mind.
"Not just the sexual assaults, but all the manipulations and grooming," said Judge Feeley, "and the unspeakable and indescribable effect that this will have on not just the children, but the children's family."
"Mr. Prew is a predator of opportunity, as well as a predator who works hard to ingratiate himself," said prosecutor Kate MacDougall.
Judge Feeley said he agreed with the prosecution that even if Prew had been allowed to stay with relatives in Winthrop, with a GPS monitoring bracelet as requested by the defense, that would not have ensured that he would not re-offend.
"There is no effective enforcement mechanism nor any effective means of protecting children in Winthrop," the judge said.
Prew was in Lynn District Court Feb. 14 for a dangerousness hearing after he was indicted for alleged child rape earlier that week.
In court, it was announced that there are ongoing investigations into allegations made by eight children. Most of the children are from Essex County, with one of the accusers coming all the way from Canada, visiting Marblehead as part of an exchange program.
The youngest child accusing Prew is 6, according to the court.
Prew, a private hockey coach and owner of Hot Shot Academy, is accused of indecent assault and aggravated rape of a 9-year-old boy multiple times between September 2017 and January 2018. His attorney previously told NBC10 Boston his client was intimately involved with the 9-year-old child's mother.