PEABODY — A man has been charged by Peabody police with child rape and multiple counts of child enticement, human trafficking, indecent assault and battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
But under an unusual order from a Peabody District Court judge, both of the pending case files in the matter have been sealed entirely.
Corey R. Chambers, who was born in 1993, was arraigned Monday and pleaded not guilty to the charges in Peabody District Court. He is due back in court on Friday for a hearing to determine whether he poses a danger if released.
Peabody District Court Judge Carol-Ann Fraser on Monday ordered that both of the case files, as well as a recording of a brief hearing to determine probable cause for a detention request, be sealed, preventing the release of Chambers' actual age and address, as well as any details of the allegations, which involve more than one victim.
Only his name, year of birth and the charges were available via a Massachusetts Trial Court computer terminal, which showed that a not guilty plea was entered and the judge granted a motion to detain Chambers pending a hearing to determine whether he poses a danger if released.
Fraser did not make any findings, as required under the Massachusetts court rules on impoundment, nor did she set a date that the sealing order would expire. The impoundment order also does not appear on an electronic docket.
When a reporter asked for the files on Wednesday, she was told by the only assistant clerk magistrate at the courthouse that the cases were not available due to the judge's order.
The clerk said that the request for sealing came from the District Attorney's office and was due to there being too many details the office would want to redact from police reports and other court documents to prevent identification of the alleged victims.
The Salem News, like most news organizations, does not identify victims of sexual abuse, even when those names are made public during court proceedings.
Carrie Kimball, a spokeswoman for the Essex District Attorney's office, said her office made a request to seal materials in the files identifying the victims, and that the judge then sealed the entire file in both cases.
Because of the judge's order, however, Kimball said she could not provide any additional details regarding the defendant.
Kimball said the district attorney's office is now reviewing that order and may seek to have it amended at Friday's hearing.
Asked for an explanation as to Fraser's order, Trial Court spokeswoman Erika Gully-Santiago said the case "is impounded at the request of the Commonwealth and we cannot comment on a pending matter."
She did not address why Fraser appeared to not make written findings on the reasons for impoundment.
A Peabody police department prosecutor who is also the department's spokesman was on vacation Wednesday. Under an amendment to the state public records law enacted in 2014, police are required to withhold sexual assault arrests, as well as domestic violence and related arrests, from their publicly-available logs.
A message left for Chambers' attorney, Sara Attarchi, was not returned by Wednesday's Salem News publication deadline.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.