NEW BEDFORD — The Dartmouth Police Officer arrested on child rape charges has been found dangerous in proceedings in New Bedford District Court on Monday.

However, Judge Robert S. Ovoian ordered Officer Shawn Souza, 37, of Dartmouth, to be released on certain conditions. Souza must stay away from the alleged victims, adhere to a curfew, and wear a court-ordered GPS monitoring device. He was released on $10,000 cash bail.

Under the conditions, Souza cannot be outside of his home between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. He cannot come within one mile of the victims' school, home, and place of employment.

Souza was arrested last week by Massachusetts State Police as the result of an investigation by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. He was charged with rape of a child by force, rape of a child - aggravated by age difference and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person under 14 years old by a mandated reporter.

Prosecutors say Souza raped one victim and indecently assaulted the other. The alleged crimes took place in Dartmouth.

"These specious allegations are alleged to have occurred 10 years ago involving a family member and a relative," Souza's defense attorney, Kevin Reddington, said in a statement last week. "Mr. Souza has moved on from that relationship and is presently with a woman who is very supportive."

The investigation into Souza began after the Department of Children and Families (DCF) reported the alleged crimes to Dartmouth Police officials.

Prosecutors presented video evidence to the court of an interview with one of the witnesses to the crimes Souza allegedly committed. Judge Robert S. Ovoian called for a brief recess to view the video.

While Defense Attorney Kevin Reddington did not object to the submission of the video, he said that it doesn’t present any new allegations or charges that haven’t already been filed.

Souza was arraigned in New Bedford District Court on Friday and was ordered held without bail over the weekend pending the results of the dangerousness hearing.

Details of the investigation have been impounded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as to protect the identity of the alleged victims.

Souza was hired by Dartmouth Police in 2008 as a patrol officer. He has been placed on administrative leave pending further developments in the investigation. The Dartmouth Police Department says they have been informed by the DA's Office that the alleged crimes did not take place while Souza was on-duty.


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