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William O'Connell, prominent Quincy developer, pleads not guilty to statutory rape charges

Posted by Metro Desk  May 9, 2011 05:39 PM

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QUINCY -- Prominent Quincy developer William S. O’Connell was arraigned today in Quincy District Court on charges of two counts of raping a child, two counts of paying a fee for sex, and one count of trafficking in cocaine.

Wealthy Developer Charged.jpg

William S. O'Connell

The ruddy 71-year-old, who was flanked by bodyguards and appeared in a dark suit and an open-collared shirt, pleaded not guilty.

Neither O’Connell nor Stephen Neyman, his attorney, would comment after the arraignment.

O’Connell and his extended family have played major roles in remaking Quincy in recent decades, including the construction of the Granite Links Golf Club at Quarry Hills and the Marina Bay condo and retail development.

Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey appointed Andrew DiCarlo Berman, a Boston lawyer, to serve as a special prosecutor, because Morrissey had professional dealings with O’Connell when he was a state senator.

DiCarlo Berman said O’Connell is facing aggravated statutory rape charges because he is more than 10 years older than his adolescent victim. He would not say how old the alleged victim is, but he noted that to be charged as he was, the law requires the victim to be between the ages of 14 and 16.

He said O’Connell is alleged to have engaged in sexual activity with the adolescent once in the spring of 2009, and the second time between the spring of 2009 and earlier this year.

He declined to say that the victim was working as a prostitute, but noted that the charges O’Connell faces include paying a fee for sex.

DiCarlo Berman said O’Connell allegedly had 19 grams of cocaine in his possession, which led to a charge of trafficking in cocaine. DiCarlo Berman said the investigation is continuing.

He noted in court that O’Connell is facing a grand jury investigation that could lead to additional charges, but he declined to comment on what the grand jury is investigating.

DiCarlo Berman is also handling the attempted murder case involving O’Connell’s nephew, Robert, who is accused of shooting Joseph A. Fasano, who was then a Milton firefighter, in December 2010 in Quincy.

Robert O’Connell has pleaded not guilty to armed assault with intent to murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing seriously bodily injury. He is free on $500,000 cash bail and was ordered to stay in his Marina Bay condo between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., according to Norfolk Superior Court records.

He was released on $150,000 cash bail.

Originally published on the blog MetroDesk.

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