HomeTop StoriesProtesters want police charged in Stoughton sex abuse scandal

Protesters want police charged in Stoughton sex abuse scandal

CANTON – In the two years before Sandra Birchmore, 23 and pregnant, was found dead in her apartment, Frank and Natalia Alves regularly had coffee with her.

Birchmore would spend hours talking to the Alves at the Dunkin in Bob’s in Stoughton. About her jobs. Or her new car. Birchmore reminded Frank Alves of his own daughter, both of whom were in their early twenties. Birchmore was babysitting the Alves’ nieces.

“She always wanted a baby,” said Natalia Alves, “then she said she was having problems with some quote ‘officers’ and I didn’t ask who they were, but she said they were having problems. Have a baby from the officers .”

The Alves do not believe, as the authorities have determined, that Birchmore committed suicide and that of her unborn baby.

On Monday, the Alves joined a group of about eight protesters outside the office of Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey. They are seeking charges against police who, according to an internal investigation by the Stoughton Police Department, groomed Birchmore for sex from the age of 13.

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“He’s just covering up all those dirty cops,” said Frank Alves, pointing to the nondescript building that houses Morrissey’s headquarters.

David Traub, a spokesman for Morrissey, reiterated Monday that the district attorney’s office is “looking into aspects of this case to see if criminal charges can be brought against an individual. A lot of time and resources have been spent on this and it continues to be ongoing.” .”

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Traub noted that all of the Stoughton officers subject to that investigation have disappeared from that department.

Sandra Birchmore’s death led to suicide

Traub also noted that the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy that found Birchmore’s death a suicide.

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Laura Saylor of Mansfield holds her sign supporting more school counselors to help troubled children at a protest outside the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office on Monday, August 21, 2023, calling for a deeper investigation into the death of Sandra Birchmore. At left is Owen Broadhurst, who made the journey from his home in Holyoke to show his support.

What did the internal affairs report reveal?

The former officers named in the internal affairs report are William Devine, William Farwell and Matthew Farwell. It says all three had “improper” relationships with Birchmore. According to Stoughton Police Chief Donna McNamara, Matthew Farwell began such an inappropriate relationship when Birchmore was 15 and he was 27. Matthew Farwell told investigators that on February 1, 2021, he went to Birchmore’s apartment in Canton to end their relationship. There she was found dead three days later.

While not detailed in the report, McNamara said a fourth man, who is now an officer at a Massachusetts agency she declined to name, also took advantage of Birchmore.

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“Those guys should all be in jail,” said Frank Alves.

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Robin Wilson of Mansfield takes part in a protest held at the Norfolk District Attorney's Office in Canton on Monday, August 21, 2023, calling for a deeper investigation into Sandra Birchmore's death.

Robin Wilson of Mansfield takes part in a protest held at the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office in Canton on Monday, August 21, 2023, calling for a deeper investigation into Sandra Birchmore’s death.

Has anyone been charged with a crime?

None of the former Stoughton officers have been charged with a crime. The Stoughton Police Department turned their internal affairs report over to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office, which would direct any criminal charges.

Who are the protesters?

The protesters organized through a Facebook group run by New Hampshire-based blogger Melissa Berry. “Justice for Sandra Birchmore” had about 1,900 members on Monday.

“Sandra’s life mattered. She had people who took care of her,” says Berry, who has no direct ties to Birchmore. “I wake up and think of Sandra, I go to bed and think of Sandra.”

Berry said more research needs to be done. Monday’s protest follows that of October. Berry said there will be another protest in October.

If you or your loved one is in crisis and needs immediate help, call or text 988 anytime, any day. Or go online to 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. These suicide prevention lifelines are free and available to everyone 24 hours a day. All conversations are confidential.

This article originally appeared on The Enterprise: Stoughton: Protest in Sandra Birchmore police sex scandal

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