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Dorchester man pleads not guilty to alleged rape of teen on ferry from Martha’s Vineyard

A Steamship Authority ferry from Woods Hole to Martha's Vineyard.
A Steamship Authority ferry from Woods Hole to Martha's Vineyard.David L. Ryan/GLOBE STAFF/FILE

A 20-year-old Dorchester man was arrested Monday for allegedly raping an 18-year-old woman during a ferry trip from Martha’s Vineyard to Woods Hole, State Police said.

Bruno Sanches De Jesus was charged with two counts of rape and a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf during an arraignment Tuesday in Falmouth District Court, according to the court clerk’s office.

Bail was set at $25,000 cash, which Sanches De Jesus was not able to post and he was ordered held at the Barnstable County Jail, according to court records .If he posts bail, Sanches De Jesus must submit to GPS monitoring and have no contact with the alleged victim.

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State Police, troopers and Falmouth officers responded around 5 p.m. Monday to the Steamship Authority for a reported sexual assault. The teen spoke to police, but De Jesus had left the dock as a passenger in a commercial box truck, State Police said.

The truck was later stopped on Route 28 north in Falmouth, State Police said, and Sanches De Jesus was booked on two counts of rape, with arraignment slated for Tuesday in Falmouth District Court, according to State Police.

A spokeswoman for Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe’s office said via e-mail that prosecutors “are not in a position to discuss the evidence in an ongoing case however there does not appear to be any prior relationship between the alleged perpetrator and the alleged victim.”

A police report on the arrest filed with the court contained no details of the alleged incident.

Sanches De Jesus’s employer was listed as KAM Appliances in court papers. But a spokeswoman for the company, Sarah Richardson, said he works for a subcontractor. Richardson said in an e-mail Tuesday that “everyone at KAM is absolutely heartbroken about this.”

“KAM has had a relationship with this company for over five years and we have always had positive experiences with their workers,” she said in a statement on the company’s behalf. “Everyone here at KAM is shocked and appalled” by the allegations.

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The company is “exceptionally sorry for what happened to the victim,” and is cooperating with State Police investigators, the statement said.

Sanches De Jesus was represented by attorney Sean Murphy. Attempts by the Globe to reach Murphy were unsuccessful Tuesday evening.

Murphy said his client denies the allegations, according to a video broadcast by NBC-10 Boston. Sanches De Jesus’s cell phone has video that could exonerate him, Murphy said, according to the broadcast.

A Steamship Authority spokesman referred questions to law enforcement.



Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.