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Cops Release Details of Recent Nightly Attacks

Cops Release Details of Recent Nightly Attacks

Police released this sketch of a man accused of sexually assaulting women in the Boston area

Boston Globe via YellowBrix

June 11, 2010

BOSTON – Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville police are sharing information on a string of attacks on women that occurred last month.

Cambridge police said yesterday that investigators did not think that two attacks in Cambridge were related to each other nor to three others reported in Somerville and Boston.

“We are not making that connection,’’ said Cambridge police spokesman Daniel Riviello, who added that the department has not ruled out the possibility.

One perpetrator committed the first two attacks on May 6 in Somerville, police said. The most recent sexual assault was reported to Cambridge police on May 31, according to Riviello.

The only information Riviello could provide about the most recent attack was that it occurred at 3:30 a.m. on Cambridge Street.

Meg Bossong, the education director for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, said she is happy to see police drawing attention to the issue.

“That sends the message to the whole community that when these things are reported, they’re going to be taken seriously,’’ Bossong said.

She said government statistics show that someone is assaulted every two minutes in the United States and that 33 percent of them are attacked by strangers.

The May 6 attack in Somerville occurred at about 10:30 p.m., when a 21-year-old woman noticed a man walking behind her on Main Street near Broadway. “Less than 10 seconds’’ after she turned to look at him, the attacker grabbed her and indecently assaulted her, according to Somerville police.

About an hour later, another woman noticed someone walking behind her near Ball Square in Somerville. A man she later described as a 6 feet tall with dark hair, a beard, and a mustache assaulted her when she approached the Tot Lot on Franey Road. When she screamed, he ran down the street, she said.

Police said the women described their assailant as a white man with “a darker shade of skin’’ whose quick speed suggested he was young or “college aged,’’ police said. He had black or brown hair and was about 6 feet tall with a slim build.

On May 20, a woman was assaulted in Boston and another in Cambridge.

In Boston, a man attempted to indecently assault a woman in her Back Bay apartment, according to Boston police, who received a call at 4:50 a.m.

The victim said she noticed a stranger enter the vestibule with her, according to Boston police. He approached her from behind near her apartment, and they had a short conversation. When she went to enter her apartment, she said, he forced his way in and tried to sexually assault her. After a struggle, the woman was able to fight off her attacker, but he fled before police arrived, she said.

The woman told police the man was black with crew-cut black hair, brown eyes, and a slim build. She said he was 22 to 27 years old and 6 feet to 6 feet 3 inches tall. He also may have been wearing glasses and was described as “well spoken,’’ according to Boston police.

Less than 24 hours later, an attacker approached a woman from behind on Pleasant Street in Cambridge and covered her mouth with both hands before she was able to escape, according to Cambridge police.

The woman said she could not provide a description because she was attacked from behind and the man was wearing a hat, Riviello said. Police collected forensic evidence that Riviello said he could not disclose.

Boston and Somerville police believe the attacks in their cities are not related to one another.

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