NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – A man convicted of attempted child rape who was released by a judge even though prosecutors said he was likely to strike again has been charged with raping a 6-year-old Massachusetts boy at a library.
Corey Saunders, 26, was arrested outside a New Bedford homeless shelter Wednesday evening shortly after the boy was assaulted while the child's mother was using a computer nearby.
The boy's mother did not know her son was being attacked, authorities said. New Bedford police Lt. Jeffry Silva said the boy did not scream because he was so paralyzed by fear. Saunders demanded the boy's address and threatened to rape him again, Silva said.
A librarian who became suspicious when she saw the boy and Saunders together alerted the boy's mother, authorities said.
Saunders, who was convicted in 2001 of attempted child rape and assault and battery on a child, is classified by the state as a Level 3 sex offender, the state's most dangerous designation. He had registered with police, as required by law.
He spent four years behind bars on the 2001 conviction, completing his sentence in December 2006.
Massachusetts law allows judges to commit sex offenders indefinitely if they're found to be dangerous and likely to strike again. But Bristol Superior Court Judge Richard Moses rejected the motion by the Bristol County district attorney's office to hold Saunders. The judge cited Saunders' low IQ, his history of being sexually abused as a child and his lack of sexual offenses while in prison.
Former Bristol district attorney Paul F. Walsh Jr. said he considered Saunders to be one of the 10 most dangerous sex offenders he prosecuted during his 16 years in office.
"He was not just sexually dangerous, but very sexually dangerous," Walsh said. "Everything indicated that. It was just a matter of when and where he was going to strike again."
Sutter refused to comment about Moses, however, saying it would be inappropriate because he and his administration were not involved in the original case.
Moses is barred from commenting because the case is pending.
Saunders is being held without bail pending a hearing scheduled for Thursday. He is charged with rape of a child by force, indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and enticing a child.