Lowell officer charged with raping homeless teen in city's outreach program

LOWELL, Mass. — A Lowell police officer has been indicted on charges he raped a homeless 16-year-old while working for the city's outreach program, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office.

Kevin Garneau, 49, was charged with two counts of rape connected to incidents the DA's office says happened in 2016 while he was working with the city's program geared toward providing assistance for homeless individuals and those with substance abuse issues.

The 16-year-old victim told investigators that Garneau entered her tent, which was provided by the program, told her there were warrants out for her arrest and said he would not arrest her in exchange for sexual favors.

At the time, Garneau was a member of the Community Opioid Outreach Program, put together by Lowell police and fire, Lowell House rehabilitation center and Trinity EMS.

“I’m astonished and deeply disappointed. I acted as soon as we were made aware of these allegations. This is not what the men and women of the Lowell PD represent. The police legally, respectfully and compassionately," Superintendent of Police Richardson said in a news release.

Garneau, who lives in Pelham, New Hampshire, is a 19-year veteran of the police department. He was released on personal recognizance, given a GPS monitor and ordered to stay away from the victim.

The DA's office says the allegations came to light in January 2019. An investigation was launched immediately, according to the office, and an indictment was handed up on June 26.