A convicted level 3 sex offender was arraigned on Wednesday after being accused of breaking into an apartment in Boston's South End a day earlier and sexually assaulting two women.
Hiding his face in Boston Municipal Court, Ronald Brown, 52, of Boston, was charged with rape, armed kidnapping and burglary.
"The defendant is charged with breaking into an apartment where two people were, tying them both up and raping one of them, and he also has a significant past record," Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum said.
A spokesperson with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office confirmed Brown was a level 3 sex offender. His profile on the state's sex offender registry board website, which lists him as homeless, says he was convicted of aggravated rape in 1986.
Prosecutors allege Brown bound and gagged the two women inside the apartment, blindfolding at least one of them before raping her.
He allegedly took the victims cell phones, camera, jewelry and laptops, and threatened the women, saying, "If you scream, I'll kill you," and "I hate Chinese people."
People in the South End are relieved.
"I'm glad he's off the street, terrible," said a woman named Nancy, who lives nearby.
"It does give you peace of mind," said Cindy Caesar, who works in the area.
One of the victims was a local doctor, who went to work and reported the rape hours later to the hospital where she works.
"It's pretty horrible that that can happen kind of in our backyard," said Kelsey Whitaker, who works nearby. "It's kind of an uneasy feeling to know that that's happening right here in our own backyard."
"It's very, very scary because you just never know," said Amanda Payne, who also works nearby.
"I think that comforts everybody knowing that he was caught so quickly," Whitaker added.
Investigators say they found a prescription medication bottle with Brown's name on it inside one of the victim’s bedrooms.
Police located Brown, who's homeless, at the Pine Street Inn Wednesday morning, allegedly carrying a backpack with the victims' cell phones, camera, jewelry and laptop inside.
But Brown's defense attorney, Hassan Williams, raised possible identification issues.
"There are significant issues that will be played out in court," he said.
"Now that I know he's been caught and I don't have anything to worry about, my friends who live here don't have anything to worry about, as far as that's concerned, it's really nice to know," Caeser said.
Records show Brown was released from prison back in May, after serving more than 20 years for a similar crime.
The state probation department says Brown was not on court-ordered probation from the 1985 rape conviction when the crime happened.
Brown is being held without bail, pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Friday.