Former TPD Officer Indicted for
2012 Sexual Assaults
of Assaults Committed While On-Duty and Armed
BOSTON, May 21, 2020 — A former
Transit Police officer was arraigned today on rape charges, after a unique
Suffolk Superior Court grand jury was reconvened this week to finish a series
of cases they had been hearing prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Suffolk County
District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced.
Among the 99 indictments returned
so far against 28 defendants are three that charge Shawn McCarthy, 46, of
Wilmington with sexually assaulting two women in July 2012 while working as an
armed, uniformed MBTA police officer.
McCarthy appeared for booking at
MBTA police headquarters in Boston and was arraigned remotely by Suffolk
Superior Court Judge Michael D. Ricciuti. He was released on the
conditions that he have no contact with the victims or other witnesses and obtain
permission to travel outside Massachusetts, as requested by Assistant District
Attorney Ian Polumbaum, chief of District Attorney Rollins’s Domestic Violence
and Sexual Assault Unit.
The Commonwealth alleges that the
victims, then in their early 20s, were drinking in Boston when they encountered
McCarthy outside the Aquarium subway station. Against the advice of a
fellow officer, McCarthy offered the women a joyride in his marked police
cruiser and drove them around the area with blue lights flashing. After
stopping in a vacant lot so the women could relieve themselves, McCarthy said
he hadn’t risked his job for nothing and he would not take them back downtown
until he got something out of it. The women stated that they feared
getting in trouble and had no choice but to submit as McCarthy subjected them
to sexual acts. Specifically, he penetrated one victim’s vagina with his
fingers and his penis as she stood against the parked cruiser; and inserted his
fingers into the second victim’s vagina as she sat in the backseat of the
vehicle. He then drove them back to the area where they had met and
warned them not to tell anyone about the episode.
One of the victims disclosed the
assault soon afterward to a male relative. In August 2019 she had to
divulge it again while answering required questions as a candidate for a
law-enforcement job in another community. Up to that point both victims
had believed the perpetrator worked for the Boston Police Department. The
matter was initially referred to BPD and further investigation identified the
assailant as a Transit Police officer. A grand jury investigation with the MBTA
police followed. McCarthy admitted that he had two women in the cruiser
on the night in question but denied any wrongdoing. He was placed on administrative
leave in December 2019 and resigned soon afterward.
“It takes great courage for
survivors in a case like this to come forward,” District Attorney Rollins said.
“Members of law enforcement are held to a higher standard of conduct
because the public’s trust in them is vital. Victims turn to police in the
aftermath of a crime and police turn the community to help solve crime. When a
member of any law enforcement agency commits such a horrendous act, it erodes
the community’s confidence in law enforcement as a whole. When law
enforcement asks for the community’s help in solving crime, we and the police
must be trusted. My office intends to hold this individual accountable as part
of our efforts to rebuild the community’s trust in this noble profession.”
like to thank the Transit Police Department, and especially Superintendent
Richard Sullivan, for leading this investigation with integrity and diligence,
and for the compassion they showed to the victims of these crimes,” District
Attorney Rollins said.
The indictments against McCarthy
were returned Monday, May 18, 2020 by members of the grand jury who were
reconvened this week after their service to the Commonwealth was interrupted by
the closure of Massachusetts courts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last
month, District Attorney Rollins wrote to Chief Justice Judith Fabricant of the
Superior Court requesting that the court allow an emergency convening of the
grand jury to continue hearing cases under strict social distancing
protocols. Acting at District Attorney Rollins’ request, Chief Justice
Fabricant permitted the Suffolk County grand jury to return to service during
the week of May 18, 2020. In each of the serious felony cases involved,
Suffolk County prosecutors had already begun presenting evidence to the panel
in the weeks and months prior to the declaration of a State of Emergency on
March 10, 2020.
The District Attorney’s office and
the court are using social distancing measures, technology and other precautions
to ensure that all participants in the process remain safe and healthy. Suffolk
County is the only district in Massachusetts and one of only a handful of
jurisdictions in the country where grand jurors are currently hearing felony
cases for indictment.
Sexual assault can happen to anyone. While the victims of any crime are asked
to call 911 in an emergency, survivors of sexual violence can also call their
local rape crisis center for free and confidential services and to discuss
their options. Support is available for all survivors of sexual violence,
regardless of whether they wish to take part in a criminal prosecution.
Services by city and town can be found at www.janedoe.org/find_help/search.
County, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center offers a free and
confidential 24-hour hotline at 800-841-8371. The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center provides
medical accompaniment and many other free services to
victims of rape and sexual assault. Suffolk victim-witness advocates can assist
in referrals to BARCC and a wide array of non-profit service providers who
can offer additional support and services.
Anne Kelley-McCarthy is the DA’s
Victim-Witness Advocate assigned to the case. McCarthy is represented by
Attorney Terrence Kennedy. The case returns to court August 10, 2020.