Daniel L. Fontes – Repeat Sex Offender

A registered sex offender will face a dangerousness hearing Friday for allegedly kidnapping a city teen at knife-point last week and sexually assaulting him in a North End cemetery.

Daniel L. Fontes, 44, of 69 Fulton St. in Fall River, was arrested Wednesday and arraigned on charges that include kidnapping, rape, indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, and assault and battery by a dangerous weapon.

Mr. Fontes appeared for his arraignment wearing a mask and a white cloth over his mouth because he had been cursing and spitting at court officers while he was held in lockup, officials said.

Mr. Fontes is a Level 2 sex offender with a lengthy criminal record that includes multiple convictions for indecent assault and battery on a child, open and gross lewdness, assault and battery, and assault with a dangerous weapon.

In 2002, he was sentenced to serve two years in jail for open and gross lewdness in Fall River.

On May 14, nine days before the alleged sexual assault in the cemetery, Mr. Fontes was reportedly seen by three young boys in the playground of the Carlos Pacheco Elementary School on Mount Pleasant Street, according to Lt. Jeffrey P. Silva, New Bedford police spokeman.

The boys said a man wearing dark clothing and a ski mask approached them. They left the playground, and as they walked away, the suspect emerged in front of them. He had his pants down and tried calling the boys over, police reported.

Lt. Silva described Mr. Fontes as a dangerous criminal who should never have been released from jail.

“He clearly seems to be a pernicious sexual predator with an insatiable appetite for crime,” Lt. Silva said. “This is somebody categorized as a Level 2 sex offender, but who more appropriately could be categorized as a Level 20 if there was such a level.”

On May 23, police allege Mr. Fontes accosted an 18-year-old boy who was walking near the intersection of Sawyer and Summer streets.

The boy told police he was walking when a man wearing dark clothing suddenly appeared and began following him. The boy said he continued to walk north on Mount Pleasant Street, turned around, but did not see the man.

Suddenly, the suspect emerged in front of him, asked for a cigarette, and questioned what music the boy was listening to on his iPod, Lt. Silva said.

The boy said he walked away, but the suspect again approached, this time propositioning him, police reported.

The boy tried walking away again, but Mr. Fontes ran up, pulled a knife to the victim’s back, and ordered him to walk into Sacred Heart #1 Cemetery, where he sexually assaulted the teen, Lt. Silva said.

After the assault, the victim fled the cemetery and called police, Lt. Silva said.

Hours later, officer Jesse Branagan was patrolling the area near the Presidential Heights housing project when he spotted Mr. Fontes wearing the same dark clothing that the victim had reported to police, Lt. Silva said.

Officer Branagan passed the information along to the New Bedford Police Department’s Juvenile and Sexual Assault Unit, which began its investigation, and learned Mr. Fontes was a Level 2 sex offender with an extensive criminal record.

The victim later identified Mr. Fontes out of a photo lineup shown to him by police, Lt. Silva said.

After obtaining search and arrest warrants Wednesday, New Bedford Police Detective Al Silva, Sgt. Pam Melo, State Police Trooper David Reis and Fall River police detectives apprehended Mr. Fontes at his Fall River apartment.

Inside the apartment, the police officers found clothing and a ski mask that witnesses had described the suspect wearing, Lt. Silva said.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte
Published in: on May 29, 2008 at 3:01 am  Leave a Comment  

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