A Massachusetts man accused of possession and distribution of child pornography and inappropriately touching a young child is being held without bail following an appearance in court on Tuesday.
According to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office, Michael J. Petrucci, 32, of Medway, was taken into custody on Saturday at his home following an investigation by Medway Police and the Computer Crimes Unit assigned to the State Police Detective Unit.
In court, prosecutors said Petrucci victimized at least three young girls, including one he was babysitting.
Police said while babysitting last year, Petrucci inappropriately took pictures and exposed himself to a girl who was only 3-years-old. He's also accused of sending naked pictures to a 13-year-old girl and having dozens of pictures of naked children on his phone.
"You will be held without bail without prejudice until May 4th, 2017 for a status review," said a court officer.
Petrucci is a level 2 sex offender stemming from a 2011 conviction for indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.
A man who shares a home with Petrucci on West Street in Medway was outside grilling on Tuesday. He refused to answer any questions about his roommate or the case.
Some of Petrucci's neighbors said they were concerned that parents of the victims may not have been aware of his past conviction.
"I was really surprised because Medway seems to be like a super safe town, little town," neighbor Deborah Desmaris said. "I was really shocked I didn’t know anything about it until I saw it on the news."
NBC Boston did a search of his Petrucci's name on a sex offender registry database online, but nothing came up.
"I know people that still check, neighbors and stuff, they’ve checked, they have grandchildren," said Desmaris.
Thanks to a 2014 Supreme Judicial Court ruling, sex offenders classified before July 12, 2013, like Petrucci, aren’t searchable online.
Eric Teenan is a defense attorney who specializes in cases involving sex offenders.
"The SJC ruling made it so that someone like him who had been classified as a level two sex offender prior to 2013 their information would not be placed on the internet," Teenan said.
Parents of the victims may have had a false sense of security when allowing their children around Petrucci.
"I would think you should know. I think it should be current," Demaris said, "It’s pretty shocking to people that have young kids around here."
Petrucci has been charged with two counts of manufacture of child pornography, two counts of dissemination of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography, distribution of obscene matter to a minor and child enticement.
He is due back in court on May 14.