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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 63A: Delinquent children; aiding and abetting violation of juvenile court order; concealing or harboring child; penalties; defenses

Section 63A. Whoever is 19 years of age or older and: (i) knowingly and willfully aids or abets a child under the age of 18, to violate an order of a juvenile court; or (ii) knowingly and willfully conceals or harbors a child who has taken flight from the custody of the court, a parent, a legal guardian, the department of children and families or the department of youth services shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 1 year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

It shall be a defense to a violation of clause (ii) if the defendant concealed or harbored a child in the reasonable good faith belief that the child would be at risk of physical or sexual abuse if the child returned to his custodial residence, unless the defendant concealed or harbored such child with intent to abuse the child or if the defendant committed abuse on that child.

The court may release on probation under section 87 of chapter 276, subject to such orders as it may make as to future conduct tending to cause, induce or contribute to a person's status as a child in need of services or delinquency, or it may suspend sentence under section 1 of chapter 279, or before trial, with the defendant's consent, it may allow the defendant to enter into a recognizance, in such penal sum as the court may fix, conditioned to comply with such terms as the court may order for the promotion of the future welfare of the child, and the case may then be placed on file. The provisions for recognizance in section 56 of chapter 276 shall be applicable to cases arising hereunder.

The divisions of the juvenile court department shall, within their respective territorial limits, have exclusive jurisdiction over complaints alleging a violation of this section.