NBC 10 I-Team: RI singer facing child molestation charge held without bail
Tony Cerbo, 40, was denied bail Tuesday after a lengthy hearing in Kent County Court that included testimony from the alleged 13-year-old victim.
“He told me to take my pants off,” the eighth-grader said to the judge.
The boy told the court he met Cerbo on the social networking app, Grindr.
According to court documents obtained by NBC 10 News, Cerbo told the teen he would "send a friend to come pick him up" at 3 a.m. November 19.
Police said the friend in question was 37-year-old Matthew Heuser, who picked up the teenager in an orange Chevy Camaro and brought him to Cerbo's home on Birchwood Drive in Johnston.
The boy's mother woke up at 4 a.m. to find her son missing and, after unsuccessful attempts to reach him by phone and text, called police.
About 20 minutes later, the teen's mother got a text from him that he was being dropped off at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts, where officers responded and brought him home.
In court Tuesday, the 13-year-old identified Cerbo's house as where he was taken and was able to accurately describe details of the room he was in.
He also identified Cerbo at the defense table as the person who engaged in sex with him.
“I said I was 14,” the young-looking teen told the court.
When he was arrested, Cerbo refused to tell police who the person was that picked up the teen that morning.
It was Cerbo's own mother who said an anonymous acquaintance of the family told her it was Heuser, whom the teen also identified from a photo as the second person who was at Cerbo's home.
The teen told the court that Heuser attempted to engage in sexual activity with the boy, as well, but was unable to, instead rubbing his back and backside.
The teenager told investigators he was not forced to do anything he didn’t want to do.
The alleged victim was transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital for a forensic sexual assault examination.
Cerbo was denied bail and is being held at the ACI.
Heuser was arrested last week on charges of second degree child molestation and conspiracy to commit first degree child molestation. His next court appearance is scheduled for February 28.