July 31, 2017

Worthington Trial Figure Charged in Child Rape

By Michael Iacuessa

As his attorney, Jamie Veara, pleaded the case to allow him to be released on minimal bail, Jeremy Frazier wiped his eyes repeatedly and struggled to hold back sobs. It had little affect on Judge J. Thomas Kirkman who sat stone-faced throughout the proceedings before ruling the 34-year old Frazier held without bail on charges of raping his live-in girlfriend's five-year old daughter.

Frazier's arrest is likely to add fuel to longtime Cape Cod rumors that he was involved in the murder of Christa Worthington in 2001, perhaps no element more so than the five-year old's statement to child services that Frazier fights often with her mother, on two occasions portraying them as "he choked her to death."

Kirkman was only assigned the case after Judge Robert Welsh III recused himself from sitting on a matter involving a key figure in the Worthington murder trial. Welsh, then working in the District Attorney's Office for one of the most publicized trials in the history of Cape Cod, successfully prosecuted Christopher McCowen in 2006 for that crime. McCowen had told police Frazier was the killer.

According to Assistant District Attorney Mary Chamberlain, who made the argument last week in Orleans District Court that Frazier be held without bail, Frazier put his mouth on the girl's private parts on several occasions at their Brewster home, including at least one time in front of the child's mother, Jessica Browe, who also has been charged. Chamberlain added that a one-and-a-half year old child, who Frazier had with Browe, was also in the room during the incident.

The matter came to attention of authorities when the mother noticed bruises on the five-year old on June 5 and either informed the Department of Children and Families or sought assistance from someone who did. At a June 14 interview at the child advocacy center Children's Cove, the five-year old stated that Frazier hit her several times with a pillow during a timeout and told her to "lay down."

It was during that interview that the girl made the comments about Frazier fighting with the mother. He was not charged on those allegations but was regarding the girl with assault and battery by dangerous weapon (described as asphyxiation by hand), strangulation or suffocation, and assault on a battery on a child with injury. He initially was released on $1,000 bail. The rape charge was not added until a month later after a subsequent interview with the child.

Veara, however, argued forcefully in court that the victim's biological father is the culprit. The attorney stated the parents were engaged in a custody dispute and suggested the girl was coached on the rape allegations by her paternal grandmother, at whose home she is now staying. Veara said claiming abuse by the other parent is common in such disputes.

The father, Kevin Lord, also has a history of violence. In fact, he fathered the child just shortly after being released from Barnstable County House of Correction. In 2008, while out on $7,500 bail after being charged for knocking a woman's teeth out and stabbing a man in the stomach at a party in Brewster, he crashed another party in Eastham where he threatened two men with a knife and ripped a door off its hinge. He was sentenced to two and a half years.

Lord had possession of the child over the weekend and returned her to the mother on Sunday, June 4, the day before the bruises were discovered. Frazier, who contacted police himself after the child's interview, suggested to them that Lord was responsible. However, police believe that because some of the girl's injuries were visible above the neckline, they would have been noticed earlier had they occurred on June 4.

The police report from the incident indicates that Browe told her daughter not to talk about the matter and that the girl was concerned her mother, who was not present during the interview, was nonetheless watching her through the video camera.

When police interviewed Browe she denied Frazier had ever hit her or the girl and said she believed Lord was responsible. Authorities have levied a rape charge against Browe as well as being an accessory before and after the fact to Frazier's actions. Both her and Frazier also face additional charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and reckless endangerment of a child.

It is not the first time Lord and Frazier have been on opposite ends of a contentious situation. While in high school 16 years ago, on the night of the Worthington murder, both men were on opposing factions at a party in Eastham. Frazier and the man who would eventually provide his alibi, Shawn Mulvey, became involved in a melee with Lord's friend Artie DuBois over what the party's host had believed was a problem that predated that night. Lord, DuBois and Ryan Buckles had arrived at the party together but witnesses say Buckles hid when Frazier and Mulvey arrived. DuBois, meanwhile, wound up engaged in battle with Frazier and his friends and later told police he was disappointed that Lord had not stepped in to defend him. (Years later, DuBois was with Lord at the party where Lord was charged with stabbing. Both men had been asked to leave). Lord also appeared on the prosecution witness list for the Worthington murder trial but was not called. He presumably was going to testify to seeing Frazier and McCowen at the party.

In a comment on the Cape Cod Times website after Frazier's arraignment last week Lord wrote that he believed Frazier played a part in the Worthington murder. The comment linked to Lord's Facebook page.

Frazier's record is not as deep as Lord's but he has a checkered past. Witnesses in the Worthington trial indicated he was a marijuana and cocaine dealer on the Outer Cape although he has never been charged. Sources who sold him drugs in bulk also corroborated this in interviews with Peter Manso, who wrote a book, Reasonable Doubt, about the trial. However, in arguing for lower bail, Veara indicated Frazier, who was 24 years old in 2006 at the time of the trial, does not currently drink or use drugs and has been sober for three years.

Frazier was also charged once with pulling a knife on two British men at Wellfleet Harbor in 2003. Although an off-duty park ranger and Frazier's own brother corroborated this to police, charges were dismissed when the tourists failed to show in court. According to Manso, however, a file search at Orleans District Court revealed no notification of the court date was ever sent to the two men. (Incidentally, the men were relatives of part-time Wellfleet resident Helena Kennedy who is now an attorney for Julian Assange).

During the trial, defense attorney Robert George inferred that authorities were showing favoritism toward Frazier, even prior to his becoming engulfed in Worthington murder speculation and particularly during the trial in order to more easily convict McCowen. George had uncovered that Frazier had received a call on his cellphone from the state police barracks the exact time the prosecution said the murder occurred.

However, George was unable to raise the knife incident because he was unaware of it. The court file was never turned over to the defense despite George requesting records in the prosecution's possession regarding Frazier. In the appeal, George stated the file "was likely deliberately withheld" by District Attorney Michael O'Keefe's office.

Frazier and Browe are due back in court Sept. 1.

Michael Iacuessa covered the Worthington Murder Trial for the Provincetown Banner and Reuters

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