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Fingerprint leads to arrest in 2003 rapes

Posted by Ralph Ranalli July 16, 2007 01:06 PM

Marcelo Mota.JPG
(Handout photo)

HOPKINTON/WESTBOROUGH

A suspect has been arrested in connection with three high-profile rapes in Hopkinton and Westborough in 2003 in which a man broke into the victims' homes and threatened them with guns and knives, authorities said.

Marcelo Mota, 28, was apprehended in New Jersey over the weekend after authorities said they matched his fingerprints to a print left on the banister at the scene of an assault Aug. 14, 2003, in which a woman fought off her attacker.

After two other women had been raped in a little more than week, a man with a knife broke into a Hopkinton apartment and assaulted a woman but fled when she fought back, authorities said. The three attacks that August panicked the surrounding area as police searched neighborhoods with dogs trying to track down the perpetrator.

"We allege that this defendant preyed on these unsuspecting women and in the process caused many residents of the Metro West community to live in fear that they might be next," Middlesex District Attorney Gerald T. Leone Jr. said in a press statement.

Mota, a former Framingham resident, had been living in Delran, N.J. He was arrested by the Burlington County Sheriff's Office when authorities matched his fingerprints to the one taken from the Hopkinton crime scene, according to the statement.

Read more about this developing story in the Globe's Local News Updates blog.

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