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Local News

January 10, 2014

Officer: 'They're trying to attack me'

PEABODY — “I didn’t want to be the evil stepfather,” Peabody police officer Frederick Wojick told jurors yesterday. “I wanted to be their friend.”

Over and over, he answered “absolutely not” when asked by his attorney if he had engaged in the various acts his former stepdaughter had described to a Lawrence Superior Court jury on Tuesday.

“I know what they’re trying to do to me,” he said, hoping to convince jurors that the young woman came up with sexual abuse allegations in retaliation for his failure to stop the arrest and prosecution of her boyfriend on a drunken-driving charge months earlier. “They’re trying to attack me.”

But Wojick was forced to acknowledge that neither the young woman nor her mother contacted police to make any allegations.

Rather, the investigation began after Wojick contacted a fellow officer, Sgt. David Bonfanti, following an argument with the teen, during which she told him, “I don’t like how you’ve been touching me.” Bonfanti reported the conversation to his superiors, who then contacted the teen and her mother.

It was more than a week later, after initially denying that she had been abused, that the young woman, then 17, disclosed to Wojick’s fellow Peabody officers that he had been touching her inappropriately since the age of 11 and had shown her and a friend pornography.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Kate MacDougall, Wojick admitted that at the time the young woman made the comment to him, during an argument, she did not know that her boyfriend had just been found guilty.

Wojick, 49, spent about an hour and a half on the witness stand yesterday. Closing arguments are scheduled for this morning.

Under questioning by his attorney, Thomas Drechsler, Wojick described how he met the young woman’s mother when she approached him at a traffic stop near her home and started flirting. Two years later, she showed up at his gym, and “she started flirting,” he said.

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