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Winthrop Police Lieutenant James Feeley arrested, charged with child rape

Winthrop Police lieutenant charged with child rape
Winthrop Police lieutenant charged with child rape 02:18

EAST BOSTON - Winthrop Police Lieutenant James Feeley has been arrested and charged with raping a child.

Feeley, 56, of Winthrop, pleaded not guilty Wednesday while handcuffed and shackled at his arraignment in East Boston District Court. He's also facing two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. 

Details of the case were not revealed at the hearing, but according to court documents, Feeley confessed to Winthrop Police Chief Terrance Delahanty in a cemetery on Monday, Christmas Day.

According to the arrest narrative, the chief met Feeley in the Belle Isle Cemetery in Winthrop after learning that Feeley was "in a bad way" and believing that he was suicidal and armed with a handgun. Feeley allegedly told the chief that he assaulted a child and was apologetic. He was then taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. The alleged victim was treated at Boston Children's Hospital Tuesday where the child disclosed that the alleged assaults by Feeley started about a year ago.

In arguing for a lower bail, Feeley's attorney said his client had no criminal record, but noted that he "brought shame upon his family," that he was the one who "brought this to light" and that this was "an aberration of immense proportions."

Feeley asked Judge Joseph Griffin if he could hide from cameras in the courtroom, but was denied.

Winthrop Police Lieutenant James Feeley in East Boston District Court, December 27, 2023. CBS Boston

Assistant District Attorney Benjamin Hui requested that Feeley be held on $500,000 bail while Feeley's attorney asked for $20,000 to $50,000. The judge ordered Feeley held on $200,000 bail and required him to turn in his guns and passport. Feeley was also ordered to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet and stay away from children under the age of 14.

He's due back in court January 29.

According to his LinkedIn page, Feeley has been with the department for 22 years. Sources told WBZ-TV's I-Team that he is also a church leader in Winthrop and a former business owner.

"James Feeley has been placed on administrative leave from the Winthrop Police Department pending the outcome of a criminal investigation headed by State Police Detectives assigned to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office," Winthrop Police Chief Terence Delehanty said in a statement.

"We have a far better understanding of the care and approach to child victims of violence and sexual assault than in the past, and this victim and the victim's family will receive all the help and support they need as this case moves forward," Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a statement.

The Department of Children and Families is working with police in the investigation. 

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