BOSTON, April 28, 2014—Two men were arraigned in the Boston Municipal Court yesterday following their arrests by MBTA Transit Police for separate incidents in which one allegedly groped a woman and the other allegedly exposed himself, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
ANTHONY PEPPE (D.O.B. 6/16/45), who listed a homeless shelter as his address, was charged yesterday with indecent assault and battery for allegedly groping a woman at Park Street station on April 8. Assistant District Attorney Erica Brody requested bail be set at $10,000 and orders that Peppe stay away and have no contact with the victim, stay away from the location of the offense, and wear a GPS monitoring device in the event that he posts bail. Judge Thomas Horgan imposed $5,000 bail and ordered Peppe to stay away from the location of the offense and GPS monitoring.
Prosecutors at the downtown courthouse also arraigned RICHARD JOHNSON (D.O.B. 5/14/65) of Boston on a charge of open and gross lewdness for allegedly exposing himself on a Red Line train on Sunday. Assistant District Attorney Emily Hamrock requested bail in the amount of $5,000 and orders to stay away and have no contact with the victims and stay away from the location of the offense in the event he is released on bail. Horgan imposed $500 bail and ordered him to stay away from the location of the offense.
According to prosecutors, Transit Police on the afternoon of April 8 spoke with a woman who said a man had grabbed her buttocks as she prepared to board a Green Line trolley at Park Street station. Another male passenger told the assailant, later identified as Peppe, to leave the victim alone, and all three entered the train.
Both the victim and a witness who contacted Transit Police using the “See Say” app told officers that Peppe would approach women on the train and block them into their seats and that he attempted to pick a fight with the man who had told him to leave the victim alone, prosecutors said. Both also reported seeing Peppe indecently assault a second woman onboard the train, prosecutors said.
The witness took three photos of the assailant and sent them to Transit Police. Officers compared those photos to images from public safety cameras at Park Street station, including images depicting the assault. Transit Police identified the man as Peppe and learned that he was regularly seen in the corridor connecting Park Street and Downtown Crossing stations.
The next day, Transit Police apprehended Peppe at North Station. He allegedly made post-Miranda statements identifying himself in images presented by Transit Police but then denied that it was him in the images capturing the assault, prosecutors said.
Peppe told officers he was ill and was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital. He was placed under arrest upon his release from the hospital this past weekend.
In a separate case, prosecutors told the court that shortly after 7:00 p.m. Sunday, Transit Police officers responded to Downtown Crossing MBTA station for a report of a man committing lewd acts. There, they were informed by two women that a man later identified as Johnson exposing and touching himself and shouting lewd comments directed at the victims while sitting across from them onboard a Red Line train, prosecutors said.
Johnson, who had exited the train at Downtown Crossing and was still present when officers arrived, was placed under arrest.
Sexual assault can happen to anyone. While the victims of any crime are asked to call 911 in an emergency, the survivors of sexual violence in Suffolk County can also call the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline at 800-841-8371. The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center provides medical advocacy, legal services, counseling, and other services to victims of rape and sexual assault.
Peppe is represented by attorney Patrick Colvario. He will return to court June 9. Johnson is represented by Irv Rakhlin. He will be back in court May 20.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.