HAYWARD -- A 59-year-old Hayward man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday for repeatedly molesting a teen he hired to be a "houseboy."

Christopher Purcell was sentenced at the Hayward Hall of Justice roughly two months after a jury found him guilty of 22 counts of oral copulation with a person under 18 and five counts of sodomy of a person under 18. He faced up to 19 years in prison.

In May 2013, Purcell posted an advertisement on Craigslist looking for what he called a "houseboy." The ad purportedly offered room and board in exchange for cooking and cleaning and said that "play would be expected," prosecutors said during the trial.

A 16-year-old boy -- who along with his mother -- had been homeless on and off for nine years answered the listing, and the teen and Purcell met in Fremont and went to the man's Hayward home. At the home, Purcell molested the 16-year-old, according to trial testimony.

Purcell then agreed the boy could live with him as his "houseboy," prosecutors said. The boy wanted his mother to move in as well but knew that she wouldn't approve of an arrangement for sexual favors, said Teresa Drenick, spokeswoman for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

Purcell created a new, fake advertisement showing a room for rent. When the teen showed his mother, she agreed to let them both live there, Drenick said.


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Purcell had sex regularly with the boy until Aug. 4, 2013, when Purcell and the boy argued over Purcell's belief that the boy wasn't engaging in enough sexual activity to please the older man, trial testimony showed.

The boy's mother overheard the argument and learned the nature of the living arrangement, Drenick said. The mother contacted police, and Purcell was arrested soon after.

Follow Kristin J. Bender at Twitter.com/kjbender.