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Man accused in brutal Middlesex Fells rape left victim for dead, prosecutor says

Middlesex Fells Reservation.Christopher Klein for The Boston Globe/file

SOMERVILLE — A Medford man accused of attacking a woman in the Middlesex Fells Reservation told investigators he hit the woman approximately 14 times with a rock, raped her repeatedly, and singled her out for violence because she was “small” and “pretty,” a prosecutor said Monday.

Brady McCue, 28, was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing after his lawyer withdrew a request for a mental health evaluation. He is charged with four counts of aggravated rape and armed assault to murder for allegedly attacking the 48-year-old woman Friday morning as she walked alone near the head of Leslie Road Trail while on the phone with her mother.

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After his arrest, McCue allegedly told police that he had left his Medford apartment that morning “intending on killing someone and getting away with it,” according to a police report. At McCue’s arraignment in Somerville District Court on Monday, Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Carrie Spiros said McCue, who has a history of mental illness, spotted the victim walking in the woods and thought she was “small ... and pretty.”

“Once he walked past her, he took out a rock ... to strike her in the head. He punched her twice. He said ‘Come with me,’ and he dragged her into a wooded area off of the main pathway,” Spiros said. McCue told police he struck her with the rock about 14 times but wasn’t sure of the exact number. He then raped her and left her to die, according to the police report. Before he walked away, he draped his jacket over her head.

“McCue stated that he stopped attacking her because he became fearful that someone would see him or that she would get up and attack him,” police wrote. “He said that he left her where she was and did not think she was dead at the time, but anticipated she would die.”

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Police found the victim sitting alone on a dirt trail “badly beaten and bleeding heavily about the face,” Spiros said. Her hair and clothes were covered in blood.

She was treated at Massachusetts General Hospital for severe head trauma, including an open wound on her forehead, and facial fractures, along with injuries to other parts of her body, Spiros said.

In the hospital, “[she] had difficulty communicating and expressed that she was in extreme pain and very fearful,” the report said. She has since been released from the hospital, said a spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.

At the scene of the random attack, police found a bloody strip of duct tape, the woman’s hat, a hooded sweatshirt, and a piece of evidence that ultimately led them to McCue later that day: a white Dunkin’ coffee cup with an order sticker stuck to the side.

McCue had stopped by the Dunkin’ location in Medford Square an hour before he attacked the woman, prosecutors said, and the order number on the cup, coupled with security footage from the coffee shop, helped investigators track him down at his apartment.

In court Monday, he showed no emotion, staring at the floor and at times looking at the ceiling.

Prosecutors said that McCue’s history of mental illness will play a major role in the case. McCue allegedly told police he had been off his medication for three days before the attack.

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His court-appointed lawyer, Thomas Silevitch, asked that McCue undergo mental health and competency evaluations. Prosecutors said McCue told police he has suffered from mental illness for years and was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2018.

Later in the day, a new lawyer withdrew the requests for mental evaluation, Ryan’s spokeswoman said.

McCue is also charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and kidnapping.

McCue’s father told the Globe over the weekend that his son was a client of the state Department of Mental Health and was discharged from Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport the Monday before the attack, after treatment for his chronic mental illness.

Harry McCue said his son shared Thanksgiving dinner with extended family but by night was starting to show signs of aggression. Harry McCue had started to drive his son to his home in Merrimack, N.H., but turned around and dropped him off at his Medford apartment.

Harry McCue expressed sympathy for the woman, who was attacked just hours after he dropped off his son.

“I feel awful for this woman. I can’t find the words,” he said. “That’s my biggest issue right now is making sure she is OK.”

Harry McCue said his son has been a DMH client for nine years and has been able to live on his own as long as he takes medication. Mental health workers with the Program for Assertive Community Treatment under the DMH were checking in on him, he said.

McCue’s only other criminal case stemmed from a 2017 incident in which he allegedly threw rocks at a woman’s car that had stopped at an intersection in Medford, according to a police report. The charges were later dropped.

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After the incident, an officer asked McCue why he had suddenly attacked the car, the report stated. He responded that “he did not know; he was very angry.”


John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Andrew Brinker can be reached at andrew.brinker@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @andrewnbrinker.