EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 25, 2013

Man gets life in prison for child rape, pornography

Methuen 64-year-old pleads guilty to 25 counts

SALEM, Mass. — A 64-year-old Methuen man who pleaded guilty to several counts of child rape, indecent assault and battery and related charges was sentenced to life in prison yesterday.

Judge Howard Whitehead handed down multiple life sentences, noting that John Lefebre’s urge to sexually assault a child “unfortunately ... persists right up until he dies.” A prosecutor asked Whitehead to impose a 30- to 40-year state prison sentence.

In July 2012, a 10-year-old girl told police Lefebre had raped and sexually assaulted her for four years, abuse she initially revealed to a therapist. She said Lefebre videotaped her performing sex acts on him and then forced her to watch the videos as well as other pornography. A motivation for revealing the abuse was the girl’s fear Lefebre would prey on another child.

Detectives searched Lefebre’s former Methuen home and confiscated CDs, DVDs and thumb drives containing evidence.

The girl’s father yesterday gave an eloquent and emotional impact statement in court at times crying and also looking directly at Lefebre as he spoke of the toll the “horror” took on his daughter, his marriage and his family.

“She is an incredibly brave hero,” the man said of his daughter, as family members and friends in the courtroom gallery wept. “It is our hope that John never breathes another free breath,” he continued.

Prosecutor Maureen Leal expressed similar sentiments, saying the girl’s “bravery and courage are evident.”

But, she told Whitehead, “we cannot forget the lasting impact this will have on (her).”

Lefebre pleaded guilty yesterday to eight counts of child rape, eight counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under age 14, eight counts of posing a child in a sexual act or distribution of a child in the nude and a single count of distribution of obscene matter.

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