HAVERHILL — Prosecutors said 63-year-old Ronald Belfiore lured teenage boys to his secluded home on West Lowell Avenue by offering them cigarettes, beer, and a place to hang out and watch movies.
They said he also offered them money to let him perform sexual acts on them.
But Belfiore's lawyer said he is simply someone who opened his home to young people, was "overly generous," and has never been in trouble with the law.
Yesterday in Haverhill District Court, Judge Patricia Dowling reviewed police reports, witness statements, and letters from young men vouching for Belfiore, and then ordered him held without bail. A probable cause hearing is scheduled for May 11.
Belfiore is charged with rape of a child with force, indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or over, and sexual conduct for pay. Police said the offenses involved one victim and occurred in 2008 at Belfiore's house at 891 West Lowell Ave., but they predict more victims and charges.
Prosecutors said that in the last year or so, as many as 15 young people have had access to Belfiore's home. Many of them were 13- and 14-year-old boys, prosecutors said.
"I state on the record that it is likely there will be additional charges," prosecutor John DePaulo said. "Police are speaking to parents and victims in Massachusetts and New Hampshire."
Police arrested Belfiore on a warrant earlier this week after an investigation that began last month.
Court documents said the boy who was Belfiore's victim was brought to the Haverhill police station by his mother last month, after speaking with Kingston police. The mother, a New Hampshire resident, told Haverhill police that her son had been having trouble at home and in school in recent months, and that the behavior was not typical of him.