Suspected serial rapist cuffed
NJ man could be linked to more: Police
A New Jersey-based attorney was arrested and charged as being the perpetrator of a series of sexual assaults along the Terminal Street area of Charlestown 15 years ago — and he was found using the same technology that finally identified the Lady of the Dunes last year.
Authorities are now asking the public in several states where he has lived to come forward if they can connect him to any other such crimes. Those states include Wisconsin, California, New Jersey and New York.
Matthew J. Nilo, 35, was arrested at his home in Weehawken, NJ., at around 4:30 p.m. yesterday and charged with three counts of aggravated rape, two counts of kidnapping, one count of assault — attempted rape, and one count of indecent assault and battery.
Nilo’s photograph was not provided by authorities.
The Boston Police Department; agents and analysts in the FBI’s Boston and Newark, N.J., field offices; and the Hudson County, N.J., Sheriff’s Office were involved in the arrest, according to Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox.
“Immediately following his arrest, we’ve shared this news with the four sexual assault survivors who have been waiting years to learn the identity of their alleged assailant,” said Boston FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph Bonavolonta during a press conference in Boston Police headquarters last evening.
“We certainly realized that identifying this individual does not ease their pain. Nothing can, but hopefully it answers some questions,” he said, adding later, “While we know today’s arrest of Mr. Nilo cannot erase the harm he allegedly inflicted upon his survivors, we believe we have removed a dangerous threat from our community.”
Cox said that he believes Nilo may have been a college student at the time of the crimes. Those who believe Nilo could be connected to other rapes and sexual assaults, including in the states mentioned above, are asked to contact the Boston Police Department or the FBI.
Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden thanked all law enforcement involved in the investigation for “tenacious work in this very troubling case.”
“Sexual assault cases are very difficult and extraordinarily challenging for our victims. They’re also hard to solve. These are events with lingering and often life-changing ramifications for our victims,” he added.
The case was solved, Cox and Bonavolonta said, with the same technology used to finally identify the person long only known as the “Lady of the Dunes” for half a century: Ruth Marie Terry, a 37-year-old Tennessee woman who was killed and left in the Provincetown dunes on July 26, 1974.
“Today’s arrest is a direct result of the FBI’s use of the designated genetic genealogy, a unique method used to generate new leads and unsolved sex, assaults, homicides, and other violent crimes,” Bonavolonta said.
He said that last October the Boston Police Department asked his office for their help — and expertise in using this new investigative genetic genealogy technology, which “combines the use of DNA analysis with traditional genealogical research and historical records to generate investigative leads.”