Man Gets 15 years for Having Sex With 16-Year-Old “Houseboy”

A 59-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in state prison for having sex with a 16-year-old boy he hired to be a "houseboy" at his home in Hayward last year.

An Alameda County Superior Court jury on June 20 found Christopher Purcell guilty of 22 counts of oral copulation of a person under 18 and five counts of sodomy of a person under 18 for his attacks on the boy, who is now 17.

The boy's mother asked Judge Kevin Murphy today to sentence Purcell to the maximum term possible, stating that the attacks forever changed her son and herself as well as the relationship between them.

However, Murphy sentenced Purcell to five years less than the maximum sentence of 20 years and Purcell could be paroled in about seven years.

Prosecutor Chris Infante said the 16-year-old boy and his mother had been homeless off and on for nine years when the boy found an ad that Purcell placed on Craigslist in May 2013 for a "houseboy."

The posting offered room and board in exchange for cooking and cleaning, but it also stated that "play would be expected," according to Infante.

The boy "knew what he was getting into" but still contacted Purcell and they met in Fremont and then drove to Purcell house in Hayward, Infante said.

Once they were at Purcell's home, the boy orally copulated Purcell and Purcell then sodomized the 16-year-old, according to Infante.

Afterward, Purcell agreed that the boy could live with him as his houseboy, the prosecutor said.

However, the boy wanted his mother to move in with him and knew that she wouldn't approve of an arrangement in which he served as a "houseboy" who performed sexual favors, according to Infante.

Purcell then created a new, false ad for a room for rent that the boy could show to his mother and she approved of the arrangement, Infante said.

Purcell and the boy subsequently entered into a sexual relationship that continued until Aug. 4, 2013, when Purcell and the 16-year-old argued over Purcell's belief that the boy wasn't engaging in
enough sexual activity to please him, according to Infante.

The boy's mother overheard the argument and belatedly learned the true nature of the living arrangement for the first time, Infante said.

The mother contacted Hayward police the next morning and Purcell was arrested later that day, Infante said.

The prosecutor said Purcell's conduct was illegal because the boy couldn't consent to have sex because he was under the age of 18.

Infante said the boy "is a really good kid and I hope he can move on from this."

He said, "I'm very happy for the family and I feel like justice was served for them."


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