Attleboro police sergeant charged with attempting to entice minor for sex

Attleboro Police Sgt. Richard Woodhead (Courtesy: Mark Stockwell/The Sun Chronicle)

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — A sergeant with the Attleboro Police Department was arrested on federal charges at his home on Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint obtained by Eyewitness News, Sgt. Richard Woodhead is facing felony charges of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, possession of child pornography and attempted receipt of child pornography.

The complaint states the offenses occurred in Providence between Sept. 22, 2016, and April 6, 2017. Each of the charges carries the possibility of prison time and fines up to $250,000.

Federal authorities and Rhode Island State Police executed a court-authorized warrant at Woodhead’s home on Thursday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Woodhead’s neighbor, Ken Otis, was shocked to hear of the allegations.

“I would trust Rich with my own kids,” he said. “To hear something like this is very troubling to me.”

“I’ve known Rich for the last 20 years,” Otis continued. “Great guy, stand-up guy. I spoke to a lot of the other neighbors here today and they were all just in shock. We hope the allegations are false.”

In a statement Thursday, Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas said he and other city officials are taking steps to address the situation.

This news is disturbing to everyone, including the dedicated men and women who serve in the Attleboro Police Department. I want to assure the citizens of Attleboro that Police Chief Heagney and I, in consultation with the City’s Labor Attorney, are taking appropriate and immediate action.

Woodhead, 54, appeared in court Thursday and was ordered held in federal custody. A bail review was scheduled for April 12.

The matter remains under investigation.