In an apparent case of mistaken identity, the Suffolk District Attorney’s office has dropped the charges against a North End man, Ross Currier, who is no longer considered a suspect in the Valentine’s Day sexual assault on Unity Street.
Prosecutors said that “new evidence” has cleared Currier of the charges for which he was previously arrested in March. The DA’s office said Boston Police had probable cause for the arrest after the victim ID’ed the man with 90-95% certainty on the basketball court outside the Nazzaro Center. Although prosecutors “are confident the victim was operating in good faith,” their subsequent investigation, “reveals that the evidence does not support the charges.”
Currier’s alibi that he was with his fiancé was independently corroborated including a review of phone and cell tower records. The victim of the February 15th attack also reported that the man took a photo of her which was not found.
Regarding a separate sexual assault in the North End on March 16th, the GPS device placed on Currier after his February arrest showed that he was not involved in that incident either.
Both the February 15th and March 16th sexual assault cases remain open and under investigation. No other suspects have been disclosed by authorities. Below that is the Suffolk District Attorney’s press release.
Prosecutors Cite New Evidence, End Case against Man Arrested in February Assault
Suffolk County prosecutors today terminated the case against a North End man arrested last month in connection with a February sexual assault on Unity Street, citing a continued investigation that developed evidence to suggest he was not the assailant.
The filing, known as a nolle prosequi, ends the prosecution of ROSS CURRIER, 26, three weeks before his first scheduled court date. In it, prosecutors wrote that the continued investigation “reveals that the evidence does not support the charges.” Boston Police arrested Currier on the evening of March 10 after the victim in the Feb. 15 assault called police to report that she saw her assailant playing basketball; that man was Currier, who lives nearby.
The victim’s identification at the scene, made with 90 to 95% certainty, gave police probable cause to arrest him on charges of assault and battery and indecent assault and battery. In a post-Miranda statement, Currier provided police with an alibi that prosecutors shared with defense counsel and the court at arraignment the next day. Prosecutors also relayed information from police that the victim had earlier identified in a photo array another person who was incarcerated at the time of the offense. As a result, prosecutors did not seek monetary bail and instead requested that he wear a GPS device while the case was pending.
Police and prosecutors continued to investigate the incident in the days and weeks after the arrest. That investigation included a review of his alibi, a forensic examination of his phone and associated cell tower records, and scrutiny of a March 16 assault, also in the North End, that was similar to the Feb. 15 assault in facts, circumstances, and suspect description.
The GPS device assigned to Currier at prosecutors’ request showed that he did not commit the March 16 assault. The assailant in the Feb. 15 assault is believed to have used his phone to photograph the victim; the forensic examination of Currier’s phone recovered no photographs – stored or deleted – consistent with that act. His alibi was independently corroborated.
Prosecutors said they are confident the victim was operating in good faith when she identified Currier, noting that the nolle prosequi was not an assessment of her truthfulness. Suffolk prosecutors and victim-witness advocates will continue to offer her support and services as the investigation proceeds.
The investigation into the Feb. 15 and March 16 assaults remains open. Anyone with information on either case is asked to contact the Boston Police Sexual Assault Unit at 617-343-4400. Survivors of sexual assault are urged to call 911 in an emergency and may also contact the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline at 800-841-8371.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.