Local Crime, News, Police/Fire

Swampscott man is charged with raping five women at gunpoint

BOSTON — A Swampscott man has been charged with raping five women at gunpoint.

Joseph Losano, 52, a military veteran, was arrested on Thursday following an indictment returned by the Suffolk County Grand Jury the day prior, charging him with raping an additional three women who were working as prostitutes in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard.

Losano is charged with 12 counts of aggravated rape, six counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and single counts of rape and aggravated kidnapping.

He was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on Thursday and held on $175,000 cash bail. He was ordered to surrender his passport and any firearms he may possess, stay away from the victims and out of the city of Boston, and remain on home confinement with GPS monitoring if he posts bail.

Losano was initially arraigned in Roxbury Municipal Court in May on charges that he raped, at gunpoint, two women who were working as prostitutes in the same area last year. At the time, police said additional victims were expected to come forward. He was held on $50,000 cash bail, but later posted it.

Losano had been arrested in May after two women 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.

At Losano’s arraignment on Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum, chief of District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, told the court that a total of five victims have now come forward as a result of the investigation by Boston Police and Suffolk prosecutors.

“These allegations are chilling,” Conley said in a statement. “They suggest a pattern of assaults on women who might be afraid or reluctant to disclose sexual violence to law enforcement. But no matter who you are, we’re here to help you. Any survivor of sexual assault will find a safe, respectful and victim-centered environment in our office.”

Prosecutors said the victims identified Losano as the man who picked them up after he pretended to solicit sex for a fee and instead pulled a gun on them and raped them. In one case, Losano allegedly locked the doors and window of his pickup truck so the victim could not escape.

Some of the victims were driven to unknown locations outside Boston, possibly Waltham and Quincy, and then driven back to Boston, prosecutors said.

Arnold Abelow, Losano’s defense attorney, could not immediately be reached for comment, but told The Item after his client’s initial arraignment in May that the initial victims “were women of the street” and that “maybe their credibility could be questioned.”

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.

Records show Losano was previously bypassed for a position as a reserve police officer with the Swampscott Police Department when he was 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.

When the town did not select Losano, he filed a bypass appeal with the Civil Service Commission. But the Commission upheld the town’s decision, 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 Losano told a New Hampshire state trooper, when asked, that he had been involved in many fights growing up and that “some people were severely hurt” and when asked by the trooper if he had been in a fight “where he actually bit a portion of someone’s ear off,” Losano allegedly responded, “That might have happened.”

Swampscott Superintendent Pamela Angelakis previously said Losano served as a per diem substitute in the Swampscott Public Schools from January 2017 to March 2017, but has not worked for the district in any capacity since then.

Losano returns to court on July 25.

More Stories From Swampscott