The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 12, 1999


Carlisle man sentenced for rape of a child

On November 8, Rutland Street resident Robert Accetta, age 46, began serving his sentence for raping a 14-year-old boy from Lowell.

According to authorities, during the fall of 1998, Accetta met the victim in an Internet chat room. In November 1998, Accetta met the victim at a train station in Lowell, then proceeded to the victim's house, where the defendant committed the offenses. Lowell police videotaped the boy's injuries when they interviewed him and subsequently obtained arrest and search warrants for Accetta's house in Carlisle. On December 17, 1998, Accetta was arrested by Lowell and Carlisle Police. On March 3, 1999, a Middlesex Grand Jury indicted Accetta on two counts of rape of a child and on March 16, Accetta entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment.

On November 8, after Accetta changed his plea to guilty in a Middlesex Superior courtroom, Judge Paul Chernoff sentenced Accetta, who will serve two-and-a-half years in the Billerica House of Corrections for one count of rape of a child, and six months for a second count of rape of a child with two years suspended for five years. However, only six months must be served, with the balance suspended for five years. In addition, during the suspended portion of the sentence, Accetta will be required to undergo sex offender counseling and be prohibited from having any contact with the victim, the victim's family or any other children under the age of 17, including by computer.

Accetta had operated a travel guide service for teenagers called North American Trails since 1981 and had a Web page describing the adventures it offers, including hiking, camping and bus tours led by Accetta and others. In June 1999, the Carlisle Board of Health issued a license for operation of the camp to Lori Pritchard, director. In a telephone interview, Pritchard said Accetta has not been involved with the business since the day he was arrested and the victim was not in any way involved with the camp. Pritchard, who has been affiliated with the business for over 20 years, said the business continues and last year "was the best ever."

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito