BYFIELD – A local man was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail after being arraigned on charges of child rape and six counts of indecent assault and battery of a person under 14. 

William Prescott, 64, was arrested Wednesday after an interview at the Newbury police station. He was arraigned Thursday in Newburyport District Court on those charges as well as a charge of open and gross lewdness. 

Judge Allen Swan ordered Prescott held on $50,000 cash bail. If Prescott posts that amount and is released, he must have no contact with his alleged victim. He must also have no unsupervised contact with anyone under 18 and cannot commit any new offenses. 

Prescott’s next court appearance via video conference is scheduled for Feb. 19.

Prescott’s attorney told Swan that Prescott denied touching the girl and said her client was looking forward to resolving the charges and “getting on with his life.”

The alleged offenses took place at his Byfield home over several months, according to a police report. The girl and Prescott are acquainted with each other. 

Newbury police were alerted Sunday when the girl and her mother went to the police station. Three days later, the child and her mother spoke to a team of police investigators at the Essex County Children’s Advocacy Center in Lawrence.

The girl told investigators that the man she called “Grumpy” touched her inappropriately multiple times while she was visiting her father’s home. She told them the first incident took place six months earlier, according to Newbury police Sgt. Patty Fisher’s report. 

The most recent alleged incident took place Sunday, also at her father’s home. The girl began telling relatives about Prescott around Christmas, according to Fisher’s report. 

Prescott was interviewed at the Newbury police station Wednesday afternoon and told Fisher and Detective Aaron Wojtkowski that the accusations against him were “unfounded.”

He blamed the girl’s mother. Prescott also told officers he was afraid a day would come when he would be subjected to a “false accusation of this nature,” Fisher wrote in her report. 

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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