DRACUT — A local youth hockey coach has been charged with sexually assaulting a player on his team over the course of several years, according to authorities.
Allen S. Pereira, 59, of Woburn, was arrested Sunday after an investigation by Dracut detectives, according to a Dracut Police Department press release issued Monday afternoon.
Police charged Pereira with three felony charges of indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or over, the release said.
Police Chief Peter Bartlett and Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand discussed the crime from inside the department shortly after news of Pereira’s arrest was released. Bartlett said the abuse took place over the course of several years, starting when the male victim was 14.
Pereira worked for a private youth hockey organization at the time of the abuse, Bartlett said. The alleged victim was a player on a team Pereira coached.
The suspect is alleged to have inappropriately touched the victim and allegedly tried to coerce the victim into touching him and performing sexual acts on him, according to Bartlett.
Bartlett did not provide specifics on when the crime occurred or the name of the youth hockey organization Pereira coached for.
The case came to the Dracut Police Department’s attention when the victim approached them about the alleged abuse, according to Bartlett
“The victim wanted to tell their story,” the police chief said. “At that point, once the investigation went this direction, that’s when the detectives decided that it was in the best interest of the case to try Mr. Pereira with the three counts.”
Chartrand commended the bravery of the victim for approaching police.
“We understand it’s a very difficult thing to come forward with,” Chartrand said.
Bartlett pointed out the investigation into the crime remains “very active.” When asked about the possibility of more victims, Bartlett encouraged anyone with information about the case to contact the Dracut Police Department.
“This case is something we are going to be vehemently investigating and we would encourage anyone with information relative to this case or the suspect to contact our detectives,” Bartlett said.
To contact the Dracut Police Department, call 978-957-2123.
Pereira is scheduled to be arraigned in Lowell District Court on Tuesday.