Alleged child molesters preyed on boys in sports leagues

Jesse Perry Jesse Perry

Photos by Rich Dionne Jesse Perry was arraigned in court on Monday for charges of child molestation.

Photos by Rich Dionne
Jesse Perry was arraigned in court on Monday for charges of child molestation.

The two brothers accused of molesting Bristol children years ago, allegedly preyed on young boys they met through youth sports leagues.

Police allege that Richard Perry, 55, of Warren, was involved with the King Phillip Little League in 1998 when he befriended a 9-year-old boy who played in the league. Over time, Mr. Perry reportedly engaged in illicit, sexual acts with that boy on at least four occasions.

The police investigation revealed evidence that Mr. Perry allegedly committed second-degree (fondling) child molestation on the boy while in Bristol. The alleged sexual molestation escalated to first-degree (penetration), in incidents that occurred in the town of Warren. Police would not specify where the alleged acts took place.

During the course of the investigation into Richard Perry, police were led to his older brother, Jesse Perry, 59, of Fall River and his alleged actions while an assistant coach with the Bristol Mustangs Pop Warner Football program. According to investigators, Jesse Perry befriended a nine-year-old player from the football league and in 1990 committed first- and second-degree child molestation on the boy while in Bristol. He is being charged with one count each.

Detectives from the Bristol Police Department, Rhode Island State Police and the Fall River Police Department, as well as the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office and the Massachusetts District Attorney, have been building cases against the brothers. The investigation of alleged sexual abuse by the Perry brothers, and possibly others, depicts these men as predators of vulnerable children they met through youth sports leagues in Bristol.

“The most disheartening thing is these individuals were predators,” said Bristol Police Chief Josh Canario. “They focused on the vulnerable. It involves kids.”

Police said that over the years, rumors swirled regarding inappropriate behavior of the Perry brothers. When formal complaints were filed in the 1990s, Chief Canario said each was investigated to ensure the claims were “reliable and credible” before they were forwarded to the state attorney general for review.

“It wasn’t falling on deaf ears,” Chief Canario said.

Due to jurisdictional and statute of limitations on some complaints, the attorney general’s office at the time ruled that the cases did not meet legal merits for prosecution, Chief Canario said. Other victims, out of fear, embarrassment or an unwillingness to delve into unpleasant past experiences, declined to provide the testimony that would assist prosecutors.

In 2012, Bristol Police Deputy Chief Steven Contente, assisted by Sgt. Steven St. Pierre, renewed the department’s investigation, reaching out to those who may have been influenced by the Perry brothers during their years coaching in youth sports. Police said that two men acknowledged that they were sexually assaulted when they were boys and agreed to provide testimony, which was corroborated by other witnesses.

Deputy Chief Contente contends that the Perrys’ pleasant and caring exterior was no more than a cover for their deviant intent.

“They (the Perrys) tried to get complete control over their victims,” said Deputy Chief Contente. “They (the victims) exhibited fear, embarrassment and confusion when they were young.”

The news that victims, now 23 and 31, came forward to bring closure to their ordeal prompted other victims and witnesses to come forward, Chief Canario said.

“Thirty to 45 individuals have come forward and have given us information,” he said.

Some claim to be victims. Others have provided police with leads, corroboration of statements made by witnesses and victims. All cases brought to the police department’s attention are being handled respectfully and thoroughly, Chief Canario said. Those that can be verified as credible will be forwarded to the attorney general for review.

“I definitely anticipate more charges to come,” Chief Canario said. “It would not surprise me to have more charges on other individuals.”

He also said, “This is the beginning of the snowball that’s going to come,” Chief Canario said.

Rick and Jesse also chose careers that put them in the company of children. Both worked in academic environments, Rick in the Bristol Warren Regional School District, and Jesse in the Dighton Rehoboth Regional School District in Massachusetts. In 2012, Jesse retired from his position at Dighton Middle School, where he taught science.

Richard Perry is scheduled to appear in Sixth District Court on Thursday, Jan. 10, for a bail hearing. Jesse Perry is scheduled to appear on Friday, Jan. 18, on a bail hearing. Both are currently being held without bail until they appear.

If convicted, the Perrys could face sentences of 25 years to life in prison for each count of first-degree child molestation. Second-degree child molestation carries a penalty of 6 to 30 years in prison.

Open and ongoing investigation
Despite the arrests of Richard and Jesse Perry, police across several jurisdictions are actively investigating the accusations of child molestation that led to their arrest.

Victims wishing to file a complaint or witnesses who can provide information that substantiates others’ claims or provides new leads are encouraged to contact police who are involved in the investigation.

All calls will be kept confidential.

  • Bristol Police: Sgt. Steven St. Pierre or Deputy Chief Steven Contente, 401-253-6900
  • Rhode Island State Polic: Detective Lt. Benjamin Barney, 401-444-1000
  • Fall River Police: Detective Brian Cordeiro, 508-676-8511, ext. 258

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12 Comments

  1. Jimi Phillips said:

    That was their M.O., to constantly be in contact with kids, and they had the pick of the crop, so to speak! It is not unlike a lion stalking prey…pick out the weak ones and attack!! Now the weak ones are not so weak and willing to speak out!! My only wish would be to have them each alone in a room, where I could stick up for myself as an adult, and beat them senseless….but I will sit back and watch the justice system do the work!!! Rot in jail Rick and Jesse!!!

    • hcabula said:

      Don’t worry Jimi, they are already looking over their shoulders 24/7. They’re in a place today where everyone around them despises what they are alleged to be. Once convicted they’ll need eyes in the back of their heads. Even
      the guards will be,let’s say, not looking out for the Perry’s
      best interest. Justice awaits them and they know this.

  2. Authentic18 said:

    I mentioned in the original article that I expected this to extend to other individuals and to many victims. One of my posts, which did not mention names, nor have any lack of discretion, was deleted. Yet, two individuals have made verbal attacks on me. Seems like I may have been more informed than they care to believe.

    Here’s another prediction:

    When you have multiple family members engage in aborrent behavior it brings two additional questions.

    First, did the each act individually of the others, or was there a collaborative effort?

    Secondly, was there an incident, or incidents, which caused family members to engage in this behavior in the first place? In other words, this behavior occurs in such a low percentage of society, to have multiple members of the same family there has to have a common denominator? After they try to discredit the accusers, will there be a defense which includes the excuse that they themselves were abused as children?

    • DownTown said:

      With as many as 45 individuals coming forward with information it’s unlikely that they will be able to discredit accusers.

      I had some interaction with these two through the Y when I was maybe 16 and they seemed odd to me at the time.

      If they are given bail there needs to be restraining orders placed against them to keep them from contacting victims or having contact with young children.

      • hcabula said:

        I can’t imagine bail for either. As a kid that grew up in Bristol and participated in all the activities mentioned, I have a deep sympathy for the victims and their families.
        As a parent of a child that interacted with one of the Perry’s during that period, the thought that mine could be a silent victim churns my stomach daily. Maybe the parents will POST bail for the two of you!

  3. Joy Perry said:

    I’m totally disgusted to hear about Rick Perry, what a sicko! I grew up in Bristol/Warren & remember Rick when I was in sachool. I was in the school he worked at in the 90′s. I didn’t know his brother, never knew he had a brother but to think Rick worked w/kids & used that as his MO makes him that much more a MONSTER!! What also bothers me is that there were alligations in 90′s & NOTHING was done?!?! How come he was still working around KIDS?????? Even if he didn’t get charged I still think action should have been taken. Now after all these yrs somethings getting done, very sad! My heart goes out to all those Now Men who are dealing w/what this MONSTER has done! Sad to think these Men I know I went to school with & probably know on a personal level!! DISGUSTING!!!

  4. Ray Cabral said:

    It seems to me that they knew who not to mess with back in my day, kids with big families… That was in the mid-late 70′s. As I got older I thought they all were a little strange. I look at all my team pictures from Pintos and Mustangs, it makes me sick to my stomach that some of those kids are their victims and that was going on around me. My deepest sympathy to the victims and respect to those coming forward. I sincerely hope justice is served to everyone involved.

  5. Dokken said:

    Jesses MO was the same for every victim including me. The other brother who hasn’t yet been arrested ( I won’t name him or the post may not be public) stood by as he watched Jesse march me up into his bedroom. Know doubt he knew what was going on as well. Their grandmother was home as well. I suspect more heads will role when this is over.

  6. Rick Lombardi said:

    I as jim am not hiding my identity, i am also a victim, and dont care who knows it, i have read i believe 95% pf various comments some of wich disgust me, as in any case there will be defenders, but how dare you ask why after all these years we decide to come forward, walk a mile in my shoes, then ask yourself that question, if you were never violated you dont know what one struggles with, from guilt, shame, was it somehow my fault, did i ask for it, did i deserve it, you question your sexual identity, sex is meaningless, you have no more respect for authority wich leads to trouble with the law for some, i was victimized at 11yrs old, if you have kids take out thier 11yr old picture LOOK at it then picture yourself having sex with someone that young, turns your stomach doesnt it, and why did they remain around kids, BECAUSE THEY WERE NEVER CHARGED, i went to high school principle when i found out my sons basketball coach, he was aware of allegations and active investigation, nothing he could do, no charges,

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