A man posing as a ride service driver kidnapped a woman leaving a Boston nightclub last month and drove her to a Rhode Island home where he raped her, Suffolk County prosecutors alleged Thursday.
Alvin R. Campbell Jr., who has ties to Lynn and Rhode Island, was ordered held on $250,000 cash bail after he was arraigned on charges of kidnapping and rape in Boston Municipal Court. He is now being investigated for two additional sexual assaults that took place in Suffolk County, in 2016 and 2017, based on DNA evidence, according to court records and Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office.
Campbell is the brother of Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell. “I am extremely heartbroken and saddened and devastated by these allegations,” Councilor Campbell said in a telephone interview with the Globe. “I am, of course, thinking about the victim who had the courage to come forward.”
The councilor was first elected in November 2015. She recently finished a two-year stint as president of the city council.
Prosecutors alleged Thursday in court that a DNA match was also found between Alvin Campbell and a sexual assault in Medford, which would be investigated by Middlesex County authorities.
Rollins said she attended Campbell’s arraignment because she was concerned that women are too often being targeted for sexual assault in Suffolk County. The alleged attack by Campbell on Dec. 7 was the third time in 2019 that a woman coming from a nightclub was sexually assaulted. One of those victims, Rollins noted, was Jassy Correia, who died —allegedly at the hands of her kidnapper.
A former Providence resident, Louis D. Coleman III, is facing federal charges of kidnapping Correia and causing her death in February 2019 in a case that could bring the death penalty. Coleman allegedly encountered Correia near the Venu nightclub in the Theater District after closing time Feb. 24, and convinced her to get into his car. Four days later, her body was found in the trunk of Coleman’s car when he was stopped by Delaware State Police on Interstate 95 near Wilmington.
“We are not going to victim-blame. We are going to be teaching very vocally our overwhelmingly young men about consent. We’re going to be talking to people about being safe when you are drinking and when you are out," Rollins said Thursday. "But I believe these women are being targeted because of their gender and I’m going to be working on making sure that gender is a protected category with respect to hate crimes, because I believe sexual violence is a form of hate crime.”
In court, Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Riley-Cunniffe summarized the investigation, saying that Campbell was charged only after police examined Uber records, the victim’s cellphone records, and multiple surveillance video cameras, and finally compared the DNA from forensic evidence with the FBI’s CODIS database.
Campbell has been convicted of several felonies over the past several years, and under state law his genetic profile was added to the national DNA database, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said the woman was at a holiday party at the Harp club on Causeway Street in the North Station area on Dec. 7 where she became intoxicated. She summoned an Uber ride, but at the last moment the driver canceled. At that time, Campbell arrived and allegedly identified the victim by her name, convincing her to get into his SUV, Riley-Cunniffe said.
The woman got into the SUV, expecting to be home within 10 minutes. She was called by a friend about 18 minutes after she left the bar and told the caller she was not yet home, the prosecutor said. Riley-Cunniffe said the woman does not remember anything that happened to her while she was a passenger in the SUV.
“The next thing she remembered was a man on top of her,” the prosecutor told Boston Municipal Court Judge Michael Coyne, adding that the woman discovered she was unclothed and in a residence that she was unfamiliar with. The man who was on top of her — whom authorities allege was Campbell — offered to drop her off nearby so she could get home, then drove her to a nearby Dunkin Donuts, the prosecutor said.
The woman had no idea where she was. Only later did she realize she was in Cumberland, R.I., the prosecutor said. The woman managed to make her way back to Boston where she was examined by the sexual assault unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, where forensic evidence was collected, the prosecutor said.
Using surveillance videos, police saw the woman leave the Harp and get into a dark-colored Chevrolet SUV. Detectives tracked the vehicle as it was driven across the city and as it left. Police later found surveillance video showing the vehicle as it arrived in Rhode Island.
Detectives examined the woman’s cellphone and found 100 data points that showed her as she moved across the city — and that she was in Cumberland for about three hours, ending at 7:45 a.m. on Dec. 7, Riley-Cunniffe said.
During the court hearing, Campbell refused to come into open court. He was ordered by Judge Coyne to come into court or at least be positioned in the hallway leading to the prisoner’s dock so the judge could see him. Campbell initially refused to do as the judge ordered, but ultimately took a spot in the hallway.
Riley-Cunniffe asked for bail of $100,000 cash; Coyne set it higher, at $250,000 cash. The judge also ordered Campbell’s bail revoked on a pending BMC case where Campbell allegedly assaulted two women — who did not know him — as they left a nightclub in downtown Boston last spring. The women suffered minor injuries, according to Boston police reports filed in court.
Campbell was free on personal recognizance in connection with that incident, records show.
Defense attorney Lauren Thomas was appointed to represent Campbell, who she said could only afford $20,000 cash bail. Thomas said Campbell lives in Lynn, but prosecutors said the single-family home in Rhode Island is where he lives.
Following the arraignment, Thomas said she had not yet had a chance to review the evidence that authorities allege link Campbell to the alleged kidnapping and rape. "We need to know more before making any judgment,'' she said.
Rollins said the defendant’s connection to City Councilor Andrea Campbell played no role in her decision to be in court on Thursday.
“Absolutely not. It does not explain my presence,” Rollins said, adding that she has been exploring a law enforcement response with Suffolk prosecutor Ian Polumbaum to sexual assaults of women linked to ride services. "Ian [Polumbaum} and I were in contact regarding rideshare, regarding, I believe, the targeting of women in particular, and sex crimes that are overwhelmingly perpetrated against women, and that’s why I’m here today. It is irrelevant who this defendant is related to. We are thinking about the victim and we are very happy that this judge is taking this very seriously.”
Travis Andersen and Emily Sweeney of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.
John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Adrian Walker is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Adrian_Walker.