Matthew James Nilo, a 35-year-old lawyer accused of sexually assaulting four women in Charlestown in 2007 and 2008, waived extradition during an initial court appearance Thursday in New Jersey, clearing the way for him to face charges in Massachusetts.
Nilo, who was arrested on Tuesday after investigators linked him to the unsolved assaults through genetic genealogy, appeared in a Jersey City courtroom on a fugitive from justice warrant and agreed to be brought to Massachusetts, officials said. He has been indicted by a grand jury in connection with the Boston cases and will be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court at an undetermined date.
Nilo, a former resident of the North End, is charged with sexually assaulting four women in the Terminal Street area of Charlestown on Aug. 18, 2007; Nov. 22, 2007; Aug. 5, 2008; and Dec. 23, 2008. Earlier this week, Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox said “all four cases are DNA-connected.”
Nilo faces three counts of aggravated rape, two counts of kidnapping, one count of assault with intent to rape, and one count of indecent assault and battery. His lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.
In September 2008, Boston police issued an advisory about three of the rapes now allegedly linked to Nilo, warning that a man was attacking women after offering them rides home.
In the first assault, on Aug. 8, 2007, a woman was in the area of Stuart Street in the early morning hours when she accepted a ride from someone she thought she recognized, police said at the time. On Nov. 22 that same year, another woman said she was raped in Charlestown, police said.
In August 2008, a woman told police she was in the area of Boylston and Arlington streets when she accepted a ride from someone who drove her to the Terminal Street area and sexually assaulted her. The woman told police there was a struggle and the man fled.
On Tuesday, a dozen officials from the FBI and Boston Police Department arrested Nilo at his apartment in Weehawken, N.J., where he lives with his fiancée, according to court documents. The property’s website describes it as “a luxury community” on the Hudson River.
Law enforcement used deception to lure him downstairs, according to an affidavit filed in court.
“Mr. Nilo was called down to the front desk of his residence and told that a large package had been delivered to him that did not fit in the facilities lockers where the residents pick up packages,” officials said.
As “soon as Mr. Nilo approached the area, he was taken into custody,” officials wrote. Nilo, who was with his fiancée, invoked his Miranda rights.
Authorities did not disclose details about the assaults but said investigators immediately shared news of Nilo’s arrest with the women who had waited 15 years to learn who attacked them.
The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, a federal program to help process sexual assault collection kits and reduce a persistent backlog, helped in the investigation, Cox said earlier this week.
In October, investigators from the Boston police’s sexual assault unit reached out to the FBI for assistance, authorities said.
Using investigative genetic genealogy, a method that combines DNA analysis with genealogy research and historical records to generate new leads in unsolved homicides, sexual assaults, and other violent crimes, investigators identified Nilo as a suspect, according to Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston office.
Investigators received confirmation of Nilo’s identity in April, Bonavolonta said.
Nilo received his undergraduate degree in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where he studied psychology.
Nilo earned his law degree at the University of San Francisco in 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile and records posted to the New York State Unified Court System website. He has also lived in Wisconsin and New York and authorities urged anyone who thinks they may have been victimized by Nilo to contact Boston police or the FBI.
While enrolled in college, Nilo had a brush with the law in Boston, according to legal filings.
In July 2008, he was charged in Boston Municipal Court with a misdemeanor count of possession of a class D drug and was placed on pretrial probation before the charge was dismissed, records show.
A notation on his docket from November 2008 said Nilo would be placed on pretrial probation through Feb. 18, 2009. The entry also noted that Nilo was “permitted to travel to school at the University Of Wisconsin — defendant is to attend 5 AA/NA meetings or any other self help group between December 12, 2008 and January 18, 2009.”
At the time of his arrest, Nilo was 20 and living in an apartment on Commercial Street, court papers show. He was working at a bagel shop as a cashier.
He was stopped around 4 a.m. on July 12, 2008, in the area of Charter and Commercial streets while driving a vehicle that was owned by his father and had a defective headlight, according to a police report.
The officer who pulled him over “could smell a strong odor of marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle,” and the officer saw a “small plastic bag containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana ... in plain view on the front passenger seat,” the report said.
Jeremiah Manion of the Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent Kate Armanini contributed to this report.
Travis Andersen can be reached at email@example.com.