Rape Charge Is Set for Boy Held in Death of Teacher
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
Published: November 21, 2013
BOSTON — A 14-year-old boy accused of killing his teacher was charged on Thursday with having raped her as well.
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An Essex County grand jury indicted the boy, Philip Chism of Danvers, for murder, aggravated rape and armed robbery in connection with the death last month of his math teacher, Colleen Ritzer, 24, at Danvers High School, about 20 miles north of Boston.
“The indictments returned today detail horrific and unspeakable acts,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement.
The authorities have yet to comment on a possible motive for the attack, which took place in a school bathroom. The medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide based on the nature of the injuries but has not ruled on the exact cause of death.
The aggravated rape indictment said that Mr. Chism had sexually assaulted Ms. Ritzer with an object, which was not identified. Aggravated rape is charged when there is serious bodily harm or when the rape is committed during the commission of another crime.
The armed robbery indictment says Mr. Chism used a box cutter to rob Ms. Ritzer of credit cards, an iPhone and her underwear.
In Massachusetts, anyone over the age of 14 who is indicted on a charge of murder is automatically tried as an adult, which means that if he is found guilty, Mr. Chism could be sentenced to life without parole. But he will be tried as a youthful offender on the rape and robbery charges; anyone age 14 to 17 who commits a felony and causes serious bodily harm is considered a youthful offender. Prosecutors said they would move to join all the indictments in Superior Court.
Mr. Chism is being held without bail and is waiting for his arraignment.