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.

A press conference was held by Ross Currier. Click to go to WCVB.

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.

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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.

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All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. It’s about time. There never was a case here and they’ve tarnished that guy’s reputation for nothing. He deserves an apology and more.

    • 100% right. You know the news stations, boston.com, etc won’t give this the same coverage they gave his perp walk off the basketball court. I hope I see Ross in the neighborhood somewhere, I’ll buy him a beer. He deserves it after spending all this $ on lawyers for absolutely nothing.

        • Boston.com and bostonherald.com both listed the story as breaking news hours ago. I don’t see a continued story tho- maybe it went to local sections.

  2. Good for Ross but unfortunately the damage has been done.

    Any future employers or acquaintances who search his name will see results for sexual assault. The internet is a permanent record. Horrible to have this hanging over you for the rest of your life when you are completely innocent.

    Hopefully the good people who run this site will update old articles that mention Ross’ name with the fact that it was a case of mistaken identity.

    Unfortunately, its unlikely all media will do the same.

    • According to Ross’ statement on the evening news, which included his frustration with the entire process, he may take legal action. The onus lays on the police – hastiness to arrest him when they knew the victim was not 100% sure, and also on the victim herself for daring to report Ross although she was not 100% sure. It was a sloppy sequence of events that ended in mistaken identity. Unacceptable.

      • He should absolutely take legal action against the city. Why couldn’t they have investigated further before pulling him off a basketball court in handcuffs and charging him with sexual assault? Ask him a few questions, figure out where he was that night – do your job before arresting someone based on the drunken eyewitness account of a witness who had already falsely accused one guy with “95% certainty”.

        The fact that there was not even an attempt to attain real evidence against Ross prior to his arrest and charging is extremely concerning. The BPD’s knowingly trusting the word of a proven unreliable witness without further investigation has caused Ross undeniable, long term fiscal harm. His lawyer is going to have a field day with this fiasco. At the end of the day, this will cost the city 7 figures.

        • Basil.two points yes there was an injustice here because its better to release a thousand guilty people then convict one innocent person.But I think your out of bounds using the word “drunken” when describing the victim.If you can back up that statement please share it with us.2nd point winning a law suit against the City of Boston is not as easy as it may sound.

          • 1st point: take a stroll around the neighborhood at 12:30-1am on a thurs/friday/sat night and see how many sober 25 year olds are around. You’re right though – I don’t have proof that she was drunk. Just a reeeallly strong suspicion given the time of day and more importantly, her 2 false accusations. It’s more likely that she had a few drinks before returning home late at night than the sober victim just blindly throwing accusations around.

            2nd point: Even if the city wins the lawsuit, they will still lose a fortune in legal fees. Any number of high powered attorneys would take this case on contingency – IE they’ll take the case for free and get about 33% of the settlement if they win. Ross would be a fool if he didnt sue. He was clearly wronged. The city acted extremely recklessly and he was harmed as a result.

            Side note: The media (including this site) is NOT to blame here. The media has every right to report police activity. The public expects much MUCH more from the police and that’s the real travesty in this case. The reporting of the arrest is not the problem – The arrest without any real evidence IS.

            • I ws very impressed at how this young man handled himself during his remarks . He set the perfect tone and balance mixing his understandable anger at being falsely accused and having his name and reputation ruined yet showing sympathy for the victim who mistakenly identified him.To file lawsuit he has to show that his civl rights were violated & the BPD and/or the DA’s office did something illegal to arrest him.Pressure’ Incompetence and a rush to judgment so they could finally announce that they arrested someone played into this injustice but I doubt there is anything illegal here.As for the victimyou cant assume that booze played a role into her false ID’s she was more likely traumatized to the point where she sees the attacker in her sleep.Now the DA’s office should issue an apology but don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

  3. So after all of these assaults over all of these years, there are still no suspect that have been brought to justice…something stinks.

  4. I am pleased to hear that Mr. Currier was exonerated after a thorough investigation revealed he ultimately was NOT the perpetrator of this crime.

    What I would one day love to hear is a thorough investigation that culminates with the conclusive identification of THE actual perpetrator or perpetrators of all such crimes that have been committed in our neighborhood over the last ~ 12 years and brings him or them to justice…

    -David Marx-
    NEWNC Public Safety Committee Chair

  5. I hope everyone in the North End buys this kid a beer. Poor thing has been dragged through hell and back for absolutely no reason. Pull together, North End. Take care of your own.

  6. it’s about time!
    what an awful, life-altering experience this must have been for this young man.
    i know that at least one other poster above already said this,
    but i am ASTONISHED AND DISGUSTED with know the BPD arrested this young man based soley on the victim’s ID…
    a victim, who at least one time previously ID’d another man from photos who was already in jail!
    the BPD say they had probable cause???
    what was that?
    we should all be able to know…it must be public record.
    i don’t think they had ANYTHING more than the victim’s wrong, hasty irresponsible ID.
    disgraceful.

  7. its a good thing, Ross has a fiancee and an alibi. Imagine if she pointed out someone who lived alone and was home alone that night? Scary thought.

    The media (including this website) are the people who dragged his name through the mud, broadcast his address, and place of employment… tough these days…

    All that said, we all hope they catch this guy…

    • MS, the chances of catching this guy are slim and none and unless they have his phone or DNA a defense lawyer would have a field day picking apart the testimony of the victim after she IDd two innocent men.

  8. Sad Story. All losers. No winners. When you went into the North End about six months before (mayoral) election day, you saw countless HUGE signs for Dan Conley. I really think the arrest was something Dan Conley HAD to do to appease the residents and business owners of the North End, whether he felt Mr. Currier was guilty or innocent. This could have dragged on for quite a while longer. Let’s be grateful Mr. Currier’s suffering ended quickly.

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