A Winchester special education teaching assistant has been arrested and charged with one count of child enticement.
Christopher M. French, 27, of 23 Hollywood Road, was arrested by detectives from the Winchester Police Department on Saturday and charged with one count of child enticement.
French, the son of long-time McCall Middle School Principal Evander French Jr., is employed as a special education teaching assistant at his father’s school.
“We believe that the defendant, through e-mail and text messages and other Internet means, contacted the victim to entice her to meet him for the purposes of sexual activity,” said Police Chief Ken Albertelli.
The alleged victim is a 13-year-old female student at the McCall School, Corey Welford, spokesman for Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone’s office.
When asked, Albertelli would not reveal who initially reported the incident to police.
According to a press release issued by Albertelli on Thursday, information came to the attention of the police department, “which after consultation with the District Attorneys Office led to the issuance of a search warrant, to be executed at 23 Hollywood Road, in Winchester.”
On Saturday, at approximately 3:18 p.m., detectives executed the search warrant at French’s home.
“Evidence was obtained during the execution of the search warrant and French was placed under arrest and charged with [one count of] child enticement,” wrote Albertelli in the release.
“(French’s) employment at the school is connected to this investigation,” he added
As a result of the continuing investigation a second search warrant was obtained on June 29, and police seized additional evidence, according to Albertelli. Police said a third search warrant might be secured and executed.
Neither Albertelli nor Welford would say where the other two search warrants were (or will be) served.
According to the police department’s initial press release, French was charged with two counts of child enticement, but the District Attorney clarified that he was only charged with one count of child enticement.
“It continues to be an ongoing investigation to determine whether additional charges are appropriate,” said Welford.
French pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday, June 30, in Woburn District Court.
Judge Geoffrey Packard ordered French held on $5,000 cash bail, with an order to have no contact with children under the age of 16. French subsequently posted bail.
“All I can say to you is, he’s done absolutely noting wrong, which … the facts will eventually prove,” said David Mortensen, French’s defense attorney.
According to McAlduff, the police department informed him of the arrest Monday.
“We will continue to cooperate with the police department and we will be conducting an investigation of our own,” he said.
According to French’s Facebook page, he is a graduate of Winchester High School and Colby College.
A representative from McCall School could not immediately be reached.
McAlduff said French has been employed full-time at the school since September, 2006. He would not comment on employment status at this time.
Eric Tsetsi can be reached at 781-674-7731 or firstname.lastname@example.org.