scorecardresearch

Swampscott man charged with raping five women at gunpoint

A military veteran from Swampscott accused of raping five women at gunpoint in Boston was ordered held on $175,000 cash bail at his arraignment Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court.

Joseph Losano, 52, pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of aggravated rape, six counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and single counts of rape and aggravated kidnapping. A Suffolk grand jury indicted Losano on those counts late Wednesday and Boston police detectives arrested him Thursday.

He is due back in court on July 25.

In addition to bail, clerk Michelle Fentress on Thursday also ordered Losano to surrender his passport and any guns he has, stay away from the victims and stay out of Boston. If he posts bail, he must remain on home confinement with GPS monitoring, according to Fentress’s conditions.

Advertisement



It was the second time since May Losano was arraigned on rape charges.

In May, Losano was charged with raping two women at gunpoint last year. He was held on $50,000 cash bail at his May arraignment in Roxbury Municipal Court but later posted that amount, according to the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

If convicted of aggravated rape, Losano could face a sentence of life in prison.

The five victims in the recent case included two from the May charges.

All the victims were allegedly assaulted during a roughly one-year period from spring 2017 to spring 2018, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said.

Suffolk prosecutor Ian Polumbaum on Thursday said each victim was a “woman who engaged in sex for a fee” in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard. Each victim said they were picked up by a man in a truck who at first “acted like a customer . . . in terms of wanting to negotiate a sex-for-a- fee transaction,” said Polumbaum.

Advertisement



In each of the encounters, the man at some point pulled a gun and “raped them at gunpoint in various ways,” he said.

“All of the victims were clear that this wasn’t something that was part of the trade or part of the arrangement, that this was violence, and that these were acts against their will,” said Polumbaum.

The victims identified Losano through photographs. Their descriptions were consistent in terms of appearance and demeanor of the assailant and the vehicle used in the assaults — a white pickup similar to one owned by Losano, according to the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

According to prosecutors, some of the victims were driven to unknown locations believed to be outside of Boston, possibly Waltham and Quincy, before being driven back to the city.

Polumbaum, explaining the kidnapping charge, said Losano in one instance allegedly locked the doors and windows of the vehicle, so a victim could not get out.

“These allegations are chilling,” Suffolk district attorney Daniel F. Conley said in a statement. “They suggest a pattern of assaults on women who might be afraid or reluctant to disclose sexual violence to law enforcement. But no matter who you are, we’re here to help you. Any survivor of sexual assault will find a safe, respectful, and victim-centered environment in our office.”


Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @danny__mcdonald.