Following trial, Massachusetts convicted of multiple counts of child molestation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Massachusetts man has been found guilty by a Kent County Superior Court jury of sexually assaulting a male victim under the age of 14 between 2007 and 2009 in Warwick.


On June 5, 2024, following the conclusion of a three-day jury trial before Superior Court Justice Luis M. Matos, the jury found Joao Soares (age 32) guilty of seven counts of first-degree child molestation and one count of second-degree child molestation.


The defendant is currently being held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) pending a sentencing hearing scheduled in Kent County Superior Court on August 23, 2024.


“Sexual assaults against children at the hands of a trusted adult remains an ongoing and devastating problem in Rhode Island,” said Attorney General Neronha. “Child molestation forever alters a child’s life and may have lasting ramifications well into adulthood. I commend the courage of the victim in this case for his bravery in coming forward to seek justice. I am grateful to the Warwick Police Department for their outstanding work during the investigation and prosecution of this case.”


During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that between 2007 and 2009, the defendant sexually assaulted a male victim, under the age of 14 and known to him, at a home in Warwick.


In 2020, the victim came forward to report the abuse, that occurred when he was between the ages of seven and 10.


“I appreciate the efforts of our detectives and prosecutors in the Attorney General’s Office on their successful investigation and prosecution of this offender,” said Warwick Chief of Police Colonel Bradford Connor. “These cases are tremendously difficult on the families involved and the greater community. It is my hope that this guilty verdict will help in the continuous healing process for the victim and his loved ones”


Special Assistant Attorneys General Arthur DeFelice and Douglas Ciullo of the Office of the Attorney General and Sergeant Nate Chea and Detective Joseph DeDonato (retired) of the Warwick Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.