Videographer for Hatfield's Smith Academy basketball games charged with indecent assault and battery
NORTHAMPTON — A 66-year-old Hatfield man who has filmed Smith Academy boys’ basketball games stands accused of indecent assault and battery and child enticement charges.
Lee Sperry, of 66 Prospect St., was arrested last Thursday and arraigned Friday in Northampton District Court on one charge of enticing a child under 16, two counts of indecent assault and battery and one count of assault and battery, to which he pleaded not guilty.
The Northwestern District Attorney’s office is encouraging anyone with information related to the case or Sperry’s involvement with juveniles to contact the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit at 586-9225, or text an anonymous tip by dialing 274637 on a cell phone and typing the keyword PROTECT in the subject line followed by a message.
Sperry was released on $5,000 bail with the condition that he have no unsupervised contact with children under 16, discontinue all work, volunteer or otherwise, with Smith Academy while the case is pending and stay away from the victim or the victim’s family. He also must wear a GPS monitoring bracelet to ensure compliance with the conditions, according to a judge’s order. He is due back in court Sept. 6. Attempts to reach Sperry for comment Monday were unsuccessful.
Sperry’s arrest followed an investigation by Hatfield Police and State Police detectives working in the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office into his activities in connection with a juvenile he met filming Smith Academy boys’ basketball games that were broadcast on Hatfield Community Access TV.
Authorities would not say whether the alleged victim is a boy or a girl, or a student at the school.
Sperry had volunteered for many years to film Smith Academy boys’ basketball games for the community television station.
He is alleged to have inappropriately touched a juvenile on several occasions and sent the juvenile harassing text messages after hiring that person to work on his properties, according to Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Caleb Weiner.
The incidents are alleged to have occurred between May and August of this year, Weiner said.
Dan Crowley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.