Sunday November 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A Level 3 sex offender is facing more charges related to the alleged sexual abuse of two young children and remains behind bars on $100,000 bond.

On Friday in Berkshire Superior Court, Arthur Russell Jr., 53, of Cherry Street pleaded not guilty to 10 charges: three counts of rape of a child with force after certain offenses and seven counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14.

According to prosecutors, Russell allegedly sexually abused two children, ages 7 and 9, between Aug. 15, 2011 and Sept. 23 of this year in Pittsfield.

He was arrested by Pittsfield Police on Oct. 1 and charged with two counts each of rape of a child with force and indecent assault and battery of a person under 14.

The other charges apparently came through the grand jury proceedings in the case.

Because of the age of the alleged victims, the police report has been sealed and few details are publicly available, including the relationship between Russell and the two children.

According to Eagle records, Russell was sentenced to 21Ž2 to four years in state prison in 2005 in Berkshire Superior Court after admitting he sexually assaulted a teen girl in Dalton between 2001 and 2002.

The victim was between the ages of 13 and 14 at the time of the assaults.

A Level 3 designation is given to sex offenders the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board believes are most likely to reoffend.

On Friday, Judge John A. Agostini ordered Russell’s bail be continued from district court where the defendant was initially arraigned before his indictment by a grand jury.

Nathaniel K. Green is representing Russell and Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo is prosecuting the case.

The judge also ordered that if the defendant makes bail, he must stay away from the two children and their families.