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Rape charge is dropped against Hub lawyer

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Associated Press / June 13, 2008

MIAMI - Prosecutors have dropped rape charges against a Boston lawyer who once tried out for television's "The Bachelor" reality show.

A memo filed yesterday in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court shows prosecutors had no DNA evidence against 36-year-old Gary Zerola. The memo also says the victim had credibility issues because she lied about drug use and drinking, and gave various versions of events to investigators.

"While there is substantial circumstantial evidence that some crime was perpetrated . . . there is insufficient evidence to sustain the continued prosecution of this case," Assistant State Attorney Kaleb Kasperson said in the memo.

Zerola, also named one of People magazine's most eligible bachelors in 2001, was arrested in October after allegedly raping the 18-year-old university student, identified only as J.W., at a Miami Beach hotel.

While the Miami case was pending, Zerola was acquitted earlier this year of rape and attempted rape in cases involving two other women in the Boston area. Kasperson said those acquittals meant Florida prosecutors could not use Zerola's arrests as evidence in the Miami case.

There was no answer yesterday to a call placed at Zerola's law office in Boston.

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