Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dennis Holt Sentenced for Child Abuse

A former Westford resident and Chelmsford High School basketball coach was sentenced Tuesday after being found guilty of a child abuse charge.

Dennis Holt, 62, who now resides in Florida, was sentenced after being found guilty on May 18 of assault with intent to rape a child. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Sandra Hamlin sentenced Holt to five to seven years in state prison.

"The defendant used his position as a mentor and coach to gain this vulnerable victim’s trust," District Attorney Gerry Leone said. "The defendant then violated that trust by committing a series of assaults against the young boy. We thank the victim for coming forward and disclosing what had happened to him so that the defendant could be prosecuted for these disturbing crimes."

Police said Holt met the then 12-year-old victim in the 1990s while the victim was a student at a basketball camp where the defendant was a coach. After the camp ended, Holt invited the victim to his home in Westford multiple times to water-ski.

As time went on, he encouraged the victim to sleep over at his house and committed a series of sexual assaults against the victim over a period of years.

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