By Brian Fraga
Standard-Times staff writer
November 22, 2008 6:00 AM
NEW BEDFORD - A city man arrested earlier this month for an alleged indecent assault on a minor was arraigned Friday on additional charges that he inappropriately touched at least six other boys.
The victims, ages 14 and 15, told police that Alfredo A. Moniz, 46, of New Bedford, often rubbed their legs while he gave them rides in his car.
The teens, who were friends of the defendant's children, said Mr. Moniz bought them alcohol on several occasions and offered to pay at least two of them to masturbate in front of him, prosecutors said.
During Friday's arraignment in New Bedford District Court, prosecutors requested $25,000 bail, citing the seriousness of the allegations and the fact that police arrested Mr. Moniz on similar charges in 2004.
However, Judge James O'Neill declined to set new bail on Mr. Moniz, who posted a $3,000 cash bail when he was arraigned Nov. 2 on one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14.
Judge O'Neill asked prosecutors if the alleged crimes were said to have occurred after Nov. 2. Informed the new charges stemmed from the same investigation, the judge released the defendant, but set additional conditions that he surrender his passport and be outfitted for a GPS monitoring device.
The news that Mr. Moniz was not held on higher bail angered police detectives in the juvenile and sexual assault division at the Rockdale Avenue headquarters. They immediately closed their case folders and left for the day.
New Bedford police spokesman Lt. Jeffrey P. Silva said he had the unpleasant task of informing the detectives about the judge's bail decision.
Asked for his reaction, Lt. Silva said the bail decision ignored "the impact the case has had and will have on these young people's lives."
"This is not the uncorroborated allegation of one person in question, but it is the testimony of at least seven different people," he said.
According to police, Mr. Moniz has been a soccer coach and referee in the area. Mr. Moniz is listed as a referee on the Web site of the Massachusetts Soccer Conference, a statewide youth soccer organization.
During Friday's arraignment, Mr. Antonio said the defendant has been married for 10 years, has three children, works as a laborer in Fairhaven and owns a part-time landscaping business.
New Bedford police arrested Mr. Moniz in 2004, charging him with seven counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. The police reports are sealed, but court records indicate the case involved at least three children.
Before the case went to trial, prosecutors dismissed three counts against the defendant. In November 2006, a jury acquitted Mr. Moniz of the other four counts of indecent assault and battery.
Nearly two years later, police received a complaint from a male teen that Mr. Moniz had inappropriately touched him. Detective Christopher Cotter investigated the allegation and arrested Mr. Moniz on Nov. 2.
However, as the investigation continued, detectives identified and interviewed several more teens whom the defendant had allegedly touched.
The teens told police the incidents usually occurred when Mr. Moniz drove them in his car. They said none of them wanted to sit in the front passenger seat because it was "unlucky." They said Mr. Moniz would reach over and rub the passenger's leg and inner thigh.
The teens also told police Mr. Moniz bought alcohol and let them drink in his house on at least four occasions. Two teens said he offered to pay them $40 to let him watch them masturbate.
Police arrested Mr. Moniz on a warrant Thursday night in Fall River. He reportedly tried to escape out a back door when police found him at a relative's residence.
Mr. Moniz is charged with seven total counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, two counts of paying for sexual conduct, and one count of giving alcohol to a minor.
He is scheduled to return to court Jan. 12.