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The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News


The former Oak Bluffs fire chief who had resigned in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal was arrested Saturday for allegedly videotaping a person performing sexual acts on him without their consent.

John Rose, who stepped down as the Oak Bluffs fire chief in 2020, was being held without bail after being charged with “photographing, videotaping, or electronically surveilling a partially nude or nude persons,” the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office wrote in a statement Saturday.

Mr. Rose, 53, is scheduled to be arraigned in Edgartown District Court on Monday.

The charge stems from an investigation by the state police assigned to the district attorney’s office. The allegation was reported to police on Dec. 14.

Police arrested Mr. Rose at Logan Airport, according to a state police spokesperson. Police then took Mr. Rose to the state police barracks in Bourne, where he was booked and being held.

State police said the investigation is ongoing. The district attorney’s office declined to comment on the case, and did not provide further details on the allegations.

Mr. Rose’s attorney Mark Miliotis told the Gazette Saturday afternoon that he had only just learned of the charge and could not comment.

Mr. Rose had served as the Oak Bluffs fire chief for seven years before stepping down. He later took a job as a firefighter in West Tisbury but was put on indefinite suspension last month after the district court granted a harassment prevention order against him.

A man sought the harassment prevention order against Mr. Rose on Dec. 4. Details of the case were not available because the court file was impounded. After learning of the allegations, the West Tisbury fire department suspended Mr. Rose.

Officials have not said if the civil prevention order and the criminal charges are connected.

In 2019, the town of Oak Bluffs settled a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against Mr. Rose. The town ended up paying nearly $100,000 to a former fire department administrator who claimed she was harassed by Mr. Rose.

The department was also investigated by the FBI for its ambulance billing practices while Mr. Rose was chief.





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