Former Oak Bluffs fire chief John Rose pleaded not guilty Monday in Edgartown District Court to a charge of photographing, videotaping, or electronically surveilling a partially nude or nude persons. He was released on $10,000 bail and ordered to wear a tracking device.

Mr. Rose, 53, was arrested at Logan Airport Saturday after an investigation by state police. A woman told police Mr. Rose secretly taped her while they had sex, according to the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office. 

Assistant district attorney John Wheatley said police talked to a woman who was in a relationship with Mr. Rose and learned of the recording on his phone. She asked Mr. Rose to delete the video and said she did not know it had been recorded.

Mr. Wheatley did not say when the alleged recording occurred, but said police initiated an investigation on Dec. 14 for an alleged secret recording of a child. The charge levied against Mr. Rose stems from filming an adult woman, not a child. Prosecutors did not elaborate further about what sparked the investigation, but have said it is ongoing.

John Rose enters the courthouse with his family. — Ray Ewing

The district attorney’s office asked the court to impound the police report and search warrant due to the ongoing investigation and to protect the name of juveniles in the investigation. That impoundment was granted by judge Edward Lynch and the public cannot see the case file documents.

Mr. Wheatley declined to comment on the case. 

A pretrial hearing was set for March 25.

During the arraignment Monday, Mr. Wheatley sought $10,000 bail, saying he believed Mr. Rose was a potential flight risk and because of the nature of the charge.

According to Mr. Wheatley, Mr. Rose left the state after he was informed that he was being investigated. A search warrant was executed at Mr. Rose’s home on the Island on Dec. 22, and Mr. Wheatley said it seemed he had left the residence in a hurry, with open and empty dressers, food rotting and the heat off. 

“It appeared to investigators that the individual, Mr. Rose, had left quite hastily,” he said.

Police arrested Mr. Rose Saturday after he got off a flight in Boston from West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Judge Lynch set Mr. Rose’s bail at $10,000 and ordered him to wear a GPS tracker and to stay away from the alleged victim. 

Mr. Rose’s attorney Mark Miliotis initially agreed to the conditions, but later objected, saying that Mr. Rose has a history of service to the Island, lives here, and runs a successful plumbing business. 

“I don’t know why GPS is necessary,” he said. 

Mr. Miliotis also asked that he and his client be allowed to attend future court hearings remotely, a request Judge Lynch vehemently denied.

“He’s got to be here,” the judge said. “If you take the case, you should be here, too.”

After his arrest, Mr. Rose was released on bail over the weekend and was joined in court by his family. Following Monday’s arraignment, he posted bail again and left the courthouse with the GPS monitor. 

Mr. Miliotis, who during the hearing said the complaints were made in 2020, declined to comment further on the case. 

Mr. Rose served at the fire chief in Oak Bluffs for seven years before he stepped down in 2020 in the wake of a sexual harassment lawsuit

The town of Oak Bluffs settled the case, filed by a former administrator who claimed Mr. Rose was harassing her, for nearly $100,000. 

After Oak Bluffs, Mr. Rose went to work for the West Tisbury fire department as a firefighter. He was suspended in that role in December after the district court granted a man a harassment prevention order against Mr. Rose. 

Documents from the civil prevention order were impounded, according to court officials. Prosecutors have not said if the cases are connected.