NEWBURY – A New Hampshire man out on bail after he was charged with sending a sexually suggestive image to a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl was caught again chatting about sex with an undercover Newbury police officer, according to an Essex County prosecutor.
Anthony Savinelli, 38, now of Deerfield, N.H., was charged in December with one count of sending obscene matter to a minor, who turned out to be a Rowley police officer. At his arraignment, Savinelli was ordered to be held on $1,000 cash bail, which he posted, and to stay out of trouble with the law. He was also ordered to have no contact with anyone under the age of 16.
But, according to Essex County prosecutor Shailagh Kennedy, Savinelli logged onto a social media chat site in early July and began communicating with a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl but was really an undercover Newbury police detective.
Kennedy's words came during a video conference hearing Tuesday at Newburyport District Court to determine whether Savinelli violated conditions of his release and should be held in jail pending trial.
During Kennedy's argument, she told Judge Peter Doyle that Savinelli sent the Newbury detective an opening message similar to the one he sent the Rowley police detective who ultimately charged Savinelli. Savinelli and the Newbury detective continued chatting and before long the conversation turned sexually explicit in nature.
"Age didn't matter to him, this is something he wanted to do," Kennedy said.
Newbury police then alerted the Essex County DA's office about the interactions.
Savinelli's attorney did not dispute Kennedy's account but said Savinelli, a married father of two children, was mentally ill and needed treatment. He asked Doyle to hold his client under house arrest, except for work and medical and legal appointments, so he could undergo mental health evaluations.
Doyle agreed not to hold Savinelli, but told him bluntly that any further trouble and he would be thrown in jail.
"It's that simple, understood?" Doyle said.
In addition to placing Savinelli under house arrest, Doyle ordered him to remain off the internet and to have no contact with anyone under 16 save for his children. Savinelli's next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 15.
Savinelli was not charged by Newbury police but the matter remains open.
Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @drogers41008.