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NY man faces child abuse charges in Mass.

May 20, 2013

ARLINGTON, Mass. (AP) — A former Boston-area youth worker charged with sexually molesting children decades ago pleaded not guilty Monday and was held on $250,000 bail.

Paul Collins appeared in Cambridge District Court to face charges of rape of a child by force, indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and open and gross lewdness.

He was arrested last week at his Centerreach, N.Y., home on charges allegedly involving four male victims, now in their mid-40s, at the Arlington Boys and Girls Club.

Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said in court that Collins has acknowledged sexual contact with two of his accusers and said he could not remember if he had improper contact with the others. Fitzgerald said Collins was fired after the allegations were made against him in 1980 and left the Boston area. Police were not notified then.

Fitzgerald said Collins, 62, told investigators he has been “looking over his shoulder for the past 33 years.” He has lived in several states.

Collins’ public defender, Josina Raisler-Cohn, said he has no criminal record and no other abuse allegations.

In court documents released in the case, one alleged victim said Collins stayed with his family for a while, and he awoke one night to find Collins sexually abusing him. The accuser said his father reported the incident to the club director, who ordered Collins to leave.

Police learned of the accusations against Collins while investigating abuse claims against another former Boys and Girls Club employee who has since died.

The club issued a statement after Collins’ arrest saying it has been working with police and “our thoughts and prayers are with all victims.”

If he is freed on bail, Collins must wear a GPS monitor and avoid children under 16.

Update hourly