Jun 13, 2023 - News

Lawyer accused of sex assaults in Charlestown cold cases free on bail

Matthew Nilo at his arraignment last week. Photo: Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Boston native and Manhattan corporate attorney Matthew Nilo, who is charged with sexually assaulting four women in Charlestown 15 years ago, is free on bail.

Driving the news: Nilo's defense team agreed Monday to $500,000 bail and to have him surrender his passport, wear a GPS tracker and stay away from the victims.

The 35-year-old North End native and Boston Latin grad pleaded not guilty last week in Suffolk Superior Court to:

  • Three counts of aggravated rape.
  • Two counts of kidnapping.
  • One count of indecent assault and battery.
  • And one count of assault with intent to rape.

What they're saying: “This is [expletive] B.S. — you think if he can come up with a half a million dollars, he can’t get rid of an ankle bracelet?” one of the alleged victims complained to an attorney outside the courtroom, according to the Globe.

Zoom in: Prosecutors say Nilo picked up three of the victims in his car in downtown Boston and drove to the Terminal Street area of Charlestown where he threatened and raped the women.

  • To ID Nilo as a suspect, according to prosecutors, police used genetic genealogy, a newish investigative method involving public genealogy databases that's being used to help crack cold cases while also courting controversy.
  • Prosecutors said that "investigators began surveilling Nilo in the New York area, and eventually collected DNA from drinking cups and utensils they watched Nilo use at a corporate event," per the Globe.

The other side: After last week's arraignment, Nilo's attorney questioned the constitutionality of that DNA analysis.

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