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Convicted rapist sentenced to decades in prison

Marcos Colono represented himself in his rape trial.

Angela Rowlings/Pool/Boston Herald

Marcos Colono represented himself in his rape trial.

They sat in the front row, shoulder to shoulder, as a prosecutor read their statements about the handcuffed man in front of them and how he had ruined their lives.

All they wanted, they had written, was for a judge to put Marcos Colono away so he could never do to another person what he had done to them. The two women, raped on a Sunday evening in 2008 inside their Commonwealth Avenue apartment, had waited years for this, not a resolution or a conclusion, but a next chapter in the account of their survival.

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“He destroyed everything, but I refuse to allow that to be the ending to my story,” one victim wrote. “I have come this far, six years later, to put this terrible creature behind bars.”

Judge Janet L. Sanders was apparently moved by the victims’ statements. After a lengthy trial during which Colono theatrically defended himself, Sanders sentenced the 36-year-old Colono to 50 to 60 years in prison for the rape charges, 20 to 25 years on a home invasion charge, and two to three years on assault charges.

The judge told Colono that he was “less of a man and more of the terrible creature” that the victims described.

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Colono is already serving a 74- to 85-year sentence for raping an 11-year-old boy and nearly decapitating the boy’s father in their Cambridge apartment in 2010. His new sentence will begin only after the previous sentence is complete.

“This defendant will never walk a step or take a breath in freedom again,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement. “He has the rest of his life to contemplate the vicious and cowardly nature of his crimes.”

Prosecutors said Colono broke into the victims’ apartment on Commonwealth Avenue in September 2008 and raped them at knifepoint before he tied them up and stole a cellphone and their identification cards.

Two years later, authorities said, they matched DNA collected from the scene of the Cambridge crime to DNA from the women’s Brighton apartment. According to the district attorney’s office, detectives also matched a fingerprint from the Cambridge crime to a print in Colono’s file from a drug arrest in 1998.

The two women sat with family Wednesday in a full courtroom for Colono’s sentencing. Colono was convicted last month; the women had testified at his trial.

The Globe does not identify rape victims.

In their victim impact statements, the women described how the attack upended their lives. They left school, lost trust in people, and struggled to move on. One described “feelings of hopelessness and apathy” that overwhelmed her after the attack.

“The experience dramatically changed my life path, and I am still on the long road of recovery,” she wrote.

“Marcos Colono allowed me to see the evil that exists in our world,” her friend wrote.

The woman also wrote, “Moving forward is easier knowing he will never take another victim again.”

Colono, who fired four lawyers before representing himself, used his final statement to the court to proclaim his innocence and criticized Holly Broadbent, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted him. He said Broadbent dishonestly convinced the women that he was their assailant.

“They’re under a false impression,” Colono said.

After the hearing, Broadbent hugged the women and told reporters that Colono’s comments about her were “ridiculous.”

“I would not even dignify that with a response,” she said.

Daniel Solomon, Colono’s court-appointed standby attorney, said he helped Colono where he could with the trial, but he generally felt “aggravating helplessness.”

Immediately after the clerk finished reading Colono’s sentence aloud, Colono spoke once more, announcing his plan to appeal his conviction before court officers led him away.

Related coverage:

Rape victims face suspect’s questioning in court

Judge warns Cambridge rape defendant on delay

Lax security, ignored rules put student tenants at risk

Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at zachary.sampson@globe.com.
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