The 43-year-old Rockport man charged with multiple counts of aggravated rape of a child was ordered Friday to be held without bail pending a probable cause hearing late next month.
Judge Joseph Jennings ordered James Brosnan, 43, of 703 Sandy Bay Terrace, held in Middleton Jail until a probable cause hearing scheduled for March 26.
Brosnan, who was arrested Tuesday by Rockport and Gloucester police, faces eight charges of aggravated rape of a pre-teen girl. He was formally arraigned in Gloucester District Court yesterday on charges that follow a 2 1/2-year-long investigation led by Gloucester Detective Steven Mizzoni.
After Friday's brief arraignment, Brosnan's attorney, William Korman, of Rudolph Friedmann LLP in Boston, said he's still learning the facts of the case. Korman said a large part of his practice is devoted to dealing with charges of sexually based offenses.
Brosnan, he added, denies the allegations.
"He acknowledges the severity of the allegations," Korman said, "but my client denies the allegations and maintains his innocence, and that's where we stand at this point."
Brosnan was taken in without incident Tuesday by Rockport and Gloucester police.
But Mizzoni's investigation, according to Gloucester police reports, began in June 2009. It was at that time, police say, that a woman called police that month and told an officer that her daughter was involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with Brosnan.
A relative told police that the daughter said she had intercourse with Brosnan on at least five occasions. Officers began working with the District Attorney's office and the Essex County Child Abuse Prevention team. Police have redacted the girl's and her family's names and addresses from the report to protect the victim.
According to police, officers brought Brosnan in for questioning soon after, but he did not talk with police and requested an attorney. The case hung there until Feb. 7, 2012.
This time, the daughter came forward and disclosed the relationship directly to Mizzoni, and told police she had sexual relations with the man on at least eight occasions.
Gloucester Police then sought a warrant charging Brosnan with six counts of aggravated rape of a child.
The aggravated rape charge, in this case, comes from the age difference between the two, not from the level of force allegedly used, attorney Korman said.
Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.