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Deputy fire chief held in rapes accused by 3 additional women

By Jonnelle Marte
Globe Correspondent / August 28, 2008
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Boston Deputy Fire Chief Peter Pearson, already accused of raping or attempting to rape three women, is now facing additional charges after three more women have asserted that he attacked them in Brockton.

All six say that Pearson impersonated a police officer and either raped or attempted to rape them. At least four said he flashed a gun.

Pearson, 51, will be arraigned Wednesday in Brockton District Court on the new complaints filed Tuesday afternoon, which include charges of rape, kidnapping, impersonating a police officer, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, said Bridget Norton Middleton, assistant Plymouth district attorney. A judge will determine whether Pearson should be released on bail.

Pearson's lawyer, Kevin J. Reddington, said the new charges lack credibility because the alleged victims were from a Middlesex detention center.

"If you drag a $100 bill across the prison floor and a get-out-of-jail-free card" you'll attract more allegations, Reddington said. "This is to the point now where the credibility of this situation is out of control."

Reddington said he plans to summon the alleged victims to testify under oath at the arraignment and insisted that his client should be granted bail.

"He's a family man, a community man, a deputy fire chief . . . decorated," he said. "They could place him on an ankle bracelet subject to home confinement."

Middleton declined to comment on how prosecutors learned about the alleged victims.

Pearson was arrested Aug. 18 and charged with raping a woman in June. He was released on $50,000 bail. He was arrested again on Friday, charged with a second alleged rape and charged with a third over the weekend. The latter two rapes allegedly happened in 2003 and 2005. Pearson pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges similar to the ones he will be arraigned for next week.

The three latest alleged victims said they were attacked in 1997, 2000, and 2002, Middleton said.

Prosecutors said Pearson followed a pattern during the alleged attacks, driving through Brockton, picking up a woman in his car, pretending that he was a police officer, and forcing the victim to perform sex acts.

Prosecutors also said earlier this week that the first three women who said Pearson had attacked them had, at some point, worked as prostitutes.

Jonnelle Marte can be reached at jmarte@globe.com.

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