Total officers suspended by POST Commission now at 33 as of mid-May
PUBLISHED: June 2, 2023 at 4:07 p.m. | UPDATED: June 2, 2023 at 4:11 p.m.
Law enforcement regulators suspended the policing licenses of a former deputy chief in Hopkinton accused of raping a teenage girl and a Hingham officer accused of pulling a gun and yelling racial slurs at a person in an apparent road rage incident, according to records released Friday.
The state’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission is required under a 2020 police reform law to suspend the policing licenses of officers who are arrested, charged, or indicted for a felony and revoke the licenses of those convicted of a felony. Suspensions remain in place until a final decision or revocation is made by regulators.
The two new suspensions of former Hopkinton Police Deputy Chief John Porter and Hingham Officer Joel Salituri bring the total number of suspended cops in Massachusetts to 33 as of May 20. A full list is available on the POST Commission’s website.
Porter pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of raping a 15-year-old student while he was a school resource officer. Prosecutors said he assaulted the student in 2004 and 2005 after he became the department’s first school resource officer.
Prosecutors also said he assaulted the student multiple times off school property.
Porter’s attorney, Leonardo Angiulo of Worcester, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hopkinton officials placed Porter on administrative leave last year pending the outcome of an investigation and he was no longer a member of the Hopkinton Police Department as of the end of April.
“Porter notified the town that he is seeking to retire, and the town accepted his immediate separation from employment,” town officials said in a statement.
He had been with the department since 1992.
Salituri was arraigned in Woburn District Court in late April, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan’s office.
Salituri’s lawyer, Jack Diamond, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors said the officer was traveling on Interstate 93 when he and another vehicle pulled off the highway. Salituri is accused of following a person until he pulled over into a parking lot, according to protestors.
Salituri is then accused of pulling alongside the victim, yelling at them, and making “derogatory statements while brandishing a firearm,” Ryan’s office said in a statement.
“The victim also reported that the defendant stated he was a police officer. The defendant was not on duty at the time,” the statement said. “The victim reported the incident to police and a criminal complaint for the charge of assault with a dangerous weapon was issued after probable cause was found at a show cause hearing.”
Salituri was released on personal recognizance and ordered to stay away from and not have contact with the victim at the arraignment. And the Hingham Police Department placed him on administrative leave, according to Ryan’s office.