DVDs in stolen safe lead to child-rape arrest

/ Source: The Associated Press

Thieves who broke into a Lawrence man's home last month and made off with a safe were probably looking for money, jewelry or other valuables.

Instead, they found a series of DVDs and videotapes allegedly showing the safe's owner having sex with underage girls.

The DVDs and videotapes were turned over to police, who have charged the safe's owner with child rape and possession of child pornography.

James Raboin, 42, was ordered held on $50,000 bail after pleading not guilty to three counts of rape of a child, indecent assault and battery, and possession of child pornography at his arraignment Monday in Lawrence District Court.

Police have identified two teenage victims on the recordings, a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl. Raboin apparently knew both.

One girl told police Raboin began sexually assaulting her when she was 8 or 9, and the assaults stopped only last year. The other girl told police she had slept over at Raboin's apartment frequently from the time she was 8 until last year. She told police Raboin used to give them wine coolers when they were in the fourth grade.

"We believe this has been ongoing for a number of years. This is the tip of the iceberg," Chief John Romero told the Eagle-Tribune.

Raboin is married and works as a design engineer in Salem, N.H., according to the paper.

He turned himself in upon learning about the warrant for his arrest.

Raboin's lawyer at arraignment told the court she plans to challenge the evidence, based on the fact it had been stolen. Raboin reported the safe containing the tapes stolen April 24.

Romero said the recordings were handed over to police by someone whom he did not identify, who had no connection to the burglary. The break-in is being investigated separately, he said.

"We didn't take the videos; they were given to us," Romero said. "We're within our rights to view them. There's no issue."

Raboin was also ordered by a judge to have no contact with the victims should he make bail and return to court on May 25.