Becket man pleads guilty to child sex assault charges in last-minute decision to avoid trial
PITTSFIELD — A Becket man accused of molesting a trio of boys at his Arrowhead Lake cabin across a span of 12 years pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges Thursday.
Arturo Bravo, 76, made a last-minute decision to not proceed with trial and instead admitted to the charges in Berkshire Superior Court, which included the assault of the boys, now 14, 20 and 27 years old.
He was sentenced to up to 10 years in state prison.
The sentencing recommendation was the result of an agreement between First Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Paul Caccaviello and Bravo's attorney, Anthony Gianacopoulos.
In a telephone interview Thursday, Caccaviello said the 7- to 10-year recommendation was borne out of a desire to provide some closure for the victims and said at Bravo's age, the length effectively equates to a life sentence.
Caccaviello said Bravo will still have to go before a parole board before being considered for release and faces possible classification as a sexually dangerous person, which could lead to commitment.
Bravo also has similar pending charges in Connecticut.
Bravo said he knew his victims and they would be offered money to do yard work around his cabin before being sexually abused.
One of the victims said he was abused on at least ten different occasions, beginning in 2002.
He was given beer throughout the day before being offered $50 for allowing Bravo to perform sex acts upon him.
Two other victims said Bravo showed them pornography in his cabin before assaulting them.
Bravo threatened the boys after the abuse, warning them not to tell anyone or they would all go to jail.
At Bravo's September 2014 dangerousness hearing in Southern Berkshire District Court, then-Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Michael D'Angelo said the alleged abuses constituted a pattern of behavior.
"The victims are family members, family friends, or members of the neighborhood that the defendant lives in and gets to know. They come over [to] his house, he baby-sits them, they do yard work for him, he pays them money, he spends time with them, time with them alone and with family members around. He builds trust and then he violates that trust," D'Angelo said.
In all, Bravo pleaded guilty to 16 charges, 11 of rape and abuse of a child without force, three of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and one each of assault on a child with the intent to commit rape and intimidation of a witness.
A twelfth count of rape and abuse of a child without force was dropped by the state.
Bravo had apparently intended to take the case to trial before entering his pleas.
He appeared in Berkshire Superior Court Thursday morning with his attorney Anthony Gianacopoulos to go over preliminary motions and begin the jury selection process.
Judge John Agostini had gone so far as to begin setting a tentative schedule for testimony in the case.
Jury selection was expected to take place Thursday and Friday and opening statements from Gianacopoulos and Caccaviello were expected to be presented this coming Monday.
The trial, had it taken place, was expected to last throughout next week.
Bravo will now serve his sentence at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.
The investigation was conducted by members of the Becket Police Department and State Troopers assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.
Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.
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