Topsfield police Sgt. Richard Lebel said that incidents involving fairground vendors and ride operators have occurred in the past, adding that the department has investigated sexual assaults at the fair, as well. But he couldn’t recall the last time his department investigated a rape charge stemming from the fair.
“Anytime there’s any type of sexual assault, it’s disturbing because you have victims,” Lebel said.
The Topsfield Fair poses a major logistical challenge for local law enforcement, who work in conjunction with state police and officers from several nearby departments. Each year, police make several arrests for drug possession and distribution, domestic assault and battery, and traffic violations, officials said. Just prior to Carson’s arraignment in Ipswich District Court yesterday, another Topsfield Fair vendor was arraigned for allegedly selling Vicodin tablets inside the fairgrounds.
Topsfield Fair spokesman David Thomson said he couldn’t comment on the alleged rape, calling it an ongoing police matter. Asked if there had been prior incidents involving vendors, Thomson said he didn’t know of any since he started working for the fair three years ago.
“The fair is 194 years old, so there may have been,” he said.
Carson is expected back in court on Nov. 8 for a probable cause hearing.