The case against a man charged with sexually assaulting five prostitutes at gunpoint on Boston’s Methadone Mile could be on thin ice after evidence was thrown out in court.
The Suffolk District Attorney’s Office is close to filing a motion to dismiss the case against Joseph Losano, 53, of Swampscott, a prosecutor told a Suffolk Superior Court judge Thursday.
“We are just finishing up loose ends on that,” Assistant District Attorney Jillian Hira told Judge Mitchell Kaplan at a status hearing for the aggravated rape case.
Last summer, Losano was ordered held on $175,000 bail at his arraignment on 12 counts of aggravated rape, six counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and single counts of rape and aggravated kidnapping. He pleaded not guilty.
Authorities say a man prowled Boston’s Methadone Mile, raping five women working as prostitutes between the spring of 2017 and 2018 — attacking them all at gunpoint, authorities said.
A trial is scheduled for January. The judge on Thursday noted that the District Attorney’s Office can file a motion to dismiss at any time before the trial.
Losano’s defense attorney James Sultan said he was “happy to wait” for a motion to dismiss.
“If that’s the direction they’re going in, worth waiting for,” Sultan added at the hearing.
Losano’s lawyer after the hearing told the Herald, “Let’s wait and see what happens.”
The Suffolk District Attorney’s Office did not respond with a comment Thursday.
The defense attorney recently won a motion to throw out evidence. Sultan had argued that three of the women ID’d Losano based on a photo lineup that was “impermissibly and unfairly suggestive.”
The victims had told Boston police that the rapist was middle-aged and in his 40s. In the Boston police photo lineup, Losano was 11 years older than the man in the “filler” image closest to him in age. The other fillers were at least 16 years younger than Losano.
Sultan had Nancy Franklin, a psychology professor, testify at a hearing.
“She described the fairness assessments that she conducted and opined that the photo array was unfair, biased and unreliable,” Sultan wrote.
The judge, Susan Sullivan, agreed to throw out the identifications made at the photo array.
“All three of the witnesses included an estimate of age in their descriptions of the suspect, and that impactful characteristic was ignored in the construction of the photo array,” Sullivan wrote. “The most constant factor throughout the three descriptions was the age estimate of the assailant, and the fillers all appear significantly younger.”
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