The arraignment of a Massachusetts fire captain accused of indecent assault and battery on a teenager has been pushed to next month after he appeared in front of a judge.
Wakefield Fire Capt. Christopher Smith was scheduled to be arraigned in Malden District Court Wednesday on two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14 years old; however, Smith's case was continued until Feb. 15 after his attorney argued he was eligible under Valor Act. Under the Valor Act, a defendant at arraignment may be afforded a 14-day continuance by the court to seek an assessment by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
Prosecutors objected to having Smith's arraignment date moved but the judge sided with the defense.
According to court documents, the incident happened in December 2015 at an annual Christmas party held at Smith's house.
His daughter's best friend, who was 19 at the time, told police Smith was becoming more intoxicated as the night wore on and was starting to flirt with her, which made her uncomfortable.
The victim, who was not named by police, told investigators that while they were in the kitchen, "Smith grabbed her buttocks and then slid his hand up between her legs up to the groin area," according to the police report.
The police report noted the victim's eyes filled with tears as she described what had happened to investigators. She also accused him of trying to kiss her on the mouth.
Investigators say the victim, who is the sister of a Wakefield police officer, reported the incident in July 2017.
When interviewed about the alleged assault, Smith told investigators that "he never touched [redacted] anytime before they went into the basement and specifically not in the upper leg area."
In a statement released Monday, Wakefield Fire Chief Michael Sullivan said Smith was placed on paid administrative leave after the department was notified by the Wakefield Police Department of the alleged assault — which happened when Smith was not on duty.
The statement did not provide further details of the allegation but said Smith would remain on leave while the investigation continues.
Smith's attorney had no comment on the case on Wednesday.