SALEM — A former Harvard Square salon owner convicted of rape and human trafficking was put back into custody on Monday, after probation officials said he had tampered with his GPS monitoring bracelet and was "off the grid" for a week.
Duke Oneblood Trueblood, 64, who used to be known as Duncan Purdy, was released last fall after completing a 10-year prison term for rape. Two young women testified that Trueblood had sexually assaulted them while purporting to give them massages at his Cambridge hair salon, massage studio and antique and art gallery. Trueblood was convicted of raping one of them.
Last month, he was arraigned in Salem District Court on charges that he failed to report to police that he had moved to 60 Perkins St. in Salem — a condo he purchased for $214,000 in March — and that he had started a job at Marblehead's Corinthian Yacht Club. Judge Emily Karstetter agreed to release him on $500 bail on the condition that he wear a GPS bracelet.
But on Monday, prosecutors in Salem District Court moved to revoke his bail after learning that the agency that monitors the bracelets reported on June 25 that Trueblood's bracelet had been tampered with. The device was not able to be tracked for a week, officials said.
A probation officer said she tried repeatedly to contact Trueblood by phone, only to later learn that the number the probation department had for him was not correct; two numbers had been transposed.
Unable to track the GPS device, the agency monitoring the bracelet shut it off remotely on Friday.
That, according to Trueblood's court-appointed lawyer, was his first sign that there was a problem and the reason he showed up at the courthouse on Monday.
The attorney, Patrick Conway, was appointed last month to represent Trueblood after a probation officer determined he is indigent.
Conway said Trueblood told him he would sometimes forget that his GPS was still plugged into the charger and would accidentally knock the charger out.
A probation officer told the judge, however, that the charging devices are magnetic, meaning that such an incident should not damage the bracelet.
Conway pleaded with Judge William Fitzpatrick not to revoke Trueblood's bail.
"He bought a condo and he forgot he had to register," said the lawyer during Monday's hearing.
Fitzpatrick, however, granted the prosecution's request and Trueblood was placed into custody.
According to court papers, Trueblood has been classified as a Level 2 offender, at moderate risk of re-offending.
His image and details of his convictions, however, do not yet appear on the public Sex Offender Registration Board website.
A status hearing in his case is scheduled for July 16.
The Perkins Street condo was purchased by Trueblood on March 9, according to Registry of Deeds records, in the name of the "Trueblood Purdy Trust."
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.