Spindrift counselor case continued

PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo. Christopher Brayton-Tedesco, 28, of 6 Prospect Court in Gloucester stands in the dock during a dangerousness hearing in Gloucester District Court. Charges of abuse of a YMCA camper made against him may be moved to Superior Court. 

Nearly five months after his arrest on charges of abusing a camper under his charge at the YMCA's Camp Spindrift, Christopher Brayton-Tedesco remains on house arrest while he and attorneys await a potential indictment that would open the door to a potential state prison sentence.

Brayton-Tedesco, 28, a 13-year counselor at the Cape Ann Y's summer camp who was fired and then criminally charged with three counts of indecent assault on a Spindrift camper in August, was due for a status hearing on his case Tuesday in Gloucester District Court. Judge Michael Patten continued the hearing to Feb. 8 at the request of the office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, DA's communications chief Carrie Kimball said Thursday.

The latest court delay comes as the DA's office pursues a grand jury indictment against Brayton-Tedesco, which would shift the case to Superior Court in Salem.

Under state sentencing guidelines, a district court judge can assess no more than a 2 1/2-year term in a house of corrections such as Middleton, while a Superior Court judge can issue state prison terms lengthier that. State guidelines also call for each count of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 to bring a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, complicating the case's status on the district court level.

Kimball emphasized that the DA's office is continuing to press for an indictment in the case.

"(The case) has been assigned for indictment – meaning that a Superior Court (assistant district attorney) is investigating and presenting the case to the grand jury," she wrote in an email to the Times. "I cannot predict whether the grand jury will indict or when."

Thomas Pierce, who has been representing Brayton-Tedesco, could not be reached for comment.

The latest delay follows a string of continuances that date to Brayton-Tedesco's Sept. 11 dangerousness hearing, when Judge Cesar Archilla found Brayton-Tedesco dangerous but did not require him to be jailed while awaiting further court hearings.

Instead, he was granted $3,000 bail, which his family posted. He was ordered to maintain house arrest monitored through a GPS device, not have any contact with the young victim or his family, and that he stay away from all Gloucester schools, the Cape Ann YMCA, and the charter school where he had met the victim and served as his teacher prior to the victim's coming to Camp Spindrift.

Brayton-Tedesco is also barred from having any contact with any potential witnesses — including his former fellow Spindrift counselors. The case began when one of the other camp counselors alerted YMCA officials to concerns about the relationship being shown between Brayton-Tedesco and the camper, whose age has not been been released.

The case has led to the Y reviewing its camp and other policies. The redirection of those policies led to the resignation of longtime camp director Rick Doucette.

Ray Lamont can be reached at 978-675-2705, or rlamont@gloucestertimes.com.