Prosecutor calls Attleboro man facing molestation charges a child predator

ATTLEBORO — A city man who faces three separate child molestation cases involving allegations which only surfaced recently was called a child predator by the prosecutor during a court hearing Wednesday.

Robert G. Nelson, 54, of 32 Martin St., pleaded innocent last week to the latest case involving a 12-year-old boy and was in Attleboro District Court today for a bail hearing.

Bail was set at $2,500 cash bail, which he is expected to post, and he was ordered by Judge Daniel O’Shea to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet while the case is pending.

He is currently on probation for 20 years after pleading guilty in Plymouth County Superior Court in March to raping a 17-year-old boy in Wareham about 20 years ago.

Authorities say Nelson knows all his accusers, who were all pre-teen or teenage boys at the time of the alleged incidents. The victim in the Wareham case, who is now an adult, is also the accuser in one of the three cases pending in Attleboro District Court.

“It’s abundantly clear that Mr. Nelson is a predator in this area,” Assistant District Attorney Melissa Tafe said in a bail argument in which she recommended $100,000 cash bail.

Nelson, who spent time in jail awaiting trial in the Plymouth County case, has pleaded innocent to all the allegations in Attleboro.

However, his lawyer, James Hanley of Fall River, said he and the prosecutor were trying to reach a resolution in which Nelson would avoid jail. But Tafe responded that that plea offer applied to only one of the cases.

Hanley did not address the newest allegation during the hearing but recommended $2,500 cash bail, which he said Nelson’s family could post.

Hanley said Nelson has always appeared in court as required, has registered as a sex offender and attends required sex offender counseling. He has obeyed all the conditions of his probation, Hanley said.

In the newest case, Nelson is accused of forcing a 12-year-old boy to watch pornography on his computer on one occasion and groping him on another.

In addition to the bail and GPS monitoring, Nelson is required to stay away from anyone under 17 in addition to his accusers.

Nelson is due back in court Sept. 18.