Police/Fire

Swampscott man charged with raping 2 women at gunpoint

BOSTON — A Swampscott man arrested and charged with raping two women at gunpoint in Boston last year was arraigned on Wednesday in Roxbury Municipal Court, and police say there may be additional victims.

Joseph Losano, 51, was held on $50,000 cash bail with orders to wear a GPS monitor, stay out of Boston and stay away from the victims if he posts bail, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Losano returns to court on June 19.

Losano, a military veteran, was arrested on Tuesday by Boston Police, with assistance from Peabody and Swampscott Police. He was charged with four counts of aggravated rape involving two victims in two separate cases, according to prosecutors and Boston Police.

Two women recently reported sexual assaults that occurred last year — in each case, Losano was allegedly driving a white pickup truck and picked the victim up in the area of Massachusetts Avenue while she was engaged in prostitution, prosecutors said.

The victims were driven to unknown locations believed to be outside of Boston and forced at gunpoint onto a mattress in the bed of the truck and sexually assaulted. The victims in each assault were driven back to Boston, where one woman was sexually assaulted, prosecutors said.

“No one should ever feel reluctant or afraid to disclose a sexual assault,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley in a statement. “No matter who you are, no matter what you do for work, no matter where you’re from or where you live, you can count on our support, respect and advocacy.”

Losano was positively identified by each victim — the investigation is ongoing for those incidents, as well as similar assaults against additional victims, prosecutors said.

Arnold Abelow, Losano’s defense attorney, said at a bail hearing, the presumption of guilt usually prevails, adding that he “could have been Perry Mason and still lost the case.

“These women were women of the street,” said Abelow. “Maybe their credibility could be questioned. Maybe they have big, long criminal records that could impeach their credibility.”

Abelow said his client had a small involvement with the courts before his arrest on Tuesday — Losano had two cases that were dismissed, one from Lynn and one from Swampscott.

But court records show past acts of violence from Losano, who applied to and was denied positions with Swampscott Police, Massachusetts State Police and New Hampshire State Police.

Court records showed Losano was previously bypassed for a position as a reserve police officer with the Swampscott Police Department. He had been ranked second on a certification list from the state’s Human Resources Division to fill 11 reserve police officer positions with the department in 2001. But the town did not select Losano and he filed a bypass appeal with the Civil Service Commission.

The Commission upheld the town’s decision to bypass Losano for appointment, finding there was an alleged incident where Losano had pointed a handgun at a man and there had been a restraining order issued against Losano in 1995, which he later violated, according to the Commission ruling.

Losano had been denied a position with the Massachusetts State Police because of the restraining order, which led him to apply for one with the New Hampshire State Police, court records show.

Court records show that Losano told a New Hampshire state trooper, when asked if he had been involved in many fights growing up, that he had been and that “some people were severely hurt.”

The trooper also asked him if he had been in a fight “where he actually bit a portion of someone’s ear off,” and Losano allegedly responded “that might have happened.” The trooper noted that Losano appeared “cocky” when speaking about the incident and had a smile on his face when he said “no one messed with me.”

Losano was previously charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Lynn District Court, but the case was later dismissed. A former Swampscott police chief revoked Losano’s license to carry a firearm, court records show.

In its ruling, the Commission noted the New Hampshire state trooper’s investigation depicted “an individual not in touch with reality,” and that he expressed no remorse about previous fights he may have had or injuries he may have caused, but “instead seemed to take pride in the fact that he imposed damage to another person.”

Swampscott Superintendent Pamela Angelakis issued a statement on Wednesday confirming that Losano worked for the Swampscott Public Schools.

“Joseph Losano served as a per-diem substitute teacher in Swampscott Public Schools from January 2017 to March 2017,” Angelakis wrote. “He has not worked for the district in any capacity since that time.”

The Boston Police Sexual Assault Unit is encouraging anyone who may have been a victim of Losano to come forward and contact them at 617-343-4400.

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