SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

April 3, 2014

Bail revoked for ex-cop charged with child porn

Ferrante found drunk outside liquor store, police say

PEABODY — A retired Peabody cop, out on bail in a child pornography case, was found parked outside a liquor store swigging from separate bottles of vodka and cranberry juice Tuesday morning, police said.

As a result, Joseph Ferrante, 60, of 30 Bresnahan St., Peabody, is being held in custody without bail after a Peabody District Court judge revoked his bail in the child porn case.

According to a police report, Ferrante begged Patrolman Patrick Berardino not to arrest him after Berardino spotted him in a rented Hyundai idling outside of A&L Liquors on Foster Street at 10:25 a.m.

“Pat, please don’t arrest me,” Ferrante allegedly asked the officer. “They will revoke my bail, and I will go to jail.”

Before he approached Ferrante, Berardino watched him drink from the two bottles, one a 200-milliliter (6.8 ounces) bottle of vodka and the other a 16-ounce bottle of cranberry juice. Ferrante then got out of his car holding the two nearly empty bottles and stumbled toward a Dumpster, police said.

Police said Ferrante nearly fell while doing field sobriety tests. There is no indication in court papers that he took a Breathalyzer test.

Ferrante was arrested at the scene and arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Peabody District Court, where Judge Richard Mori not only revoked his $5,000 bail in the child porn case but set additional bail of $500 in the drunken-driving case.

Ferrante is also charged with violating the city’s open container ordinance. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.

In November, he also pleaded not guilty to charges that he stored and shared child pornography on his home computer, which was connected to an online file-sharing service frequently used by pedophiles. Those charges came after an investigator from the Internet Crimes Against Children unit of the state police linked his IP address to one that was offering explicit images of boys.

He is due back in court on April 16 for a probable cause hearing in the child pornography case and a pretrial hearing in the drunken-driving case.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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