A hockey coach in Massachusetts has been accused of sexually abusing eight children, including a six-year-old.
Christopher Prew, 31, appeared in court on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in a hearing for one of the allegations, reported Fox25.
Judge James LaMothe revealed in court that seven other families had come forward to accuse Prew of sexual abuse.
All eight of the children who said that Prew abused them are boys, reported CBS. They range in age from 6 to 11 years old.
A Marblehead police officer testified to say the first victim came forward on Feb. 5. She interviewed the victim separately from the mother and relayed the victim’s story.
The victim’s mother told the officer that Prew had become a mentor to the child in the wake of her husband’s death, including taking the child to buy hockey gear on his own time.
He even ended up living in their apartment.
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“He basically started by offering to teach the child how to skate, brought him to buy the equipment to skate, brought him to the rinks to teach him to skate. … He had a lot of one-on-one time with the child,” Marblehead police officer Theresa Gay testified, reported The Boston Herald.
Prew’s attorney Sean Donahue, meanwhile, was able to amass more than two dozen letters of glowing support for Prew, but it appeared to have little effect on the case as LaMothe ordered Prew held without bail.
A woman who identified herself as a sister of the accused told WBZ that the claims are “completely false.”
“Myself, my family and a large community of people stand behind Chris and know that he did not do what he’s being accused of,” she said. “Please respect our privacy during this very difficult time.”
Prew co-owns a hockey company, where he provides both private and group lessons. The description on Hot Shot Academy’s website says that “Coach Chris has been coaching youth sports for over 10 years.”
“I’ve frankly never seen anything like it, and I’m not sure where we’re headed,” assistant Essex District Attorney Kate MacDougall told the judge during the first hearing.
Hearings for the other charges are scheduled for later this year.
Prosecutors said it’s possible more victims come forward.