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Suspect in brutal Cambridge attack suspected of raping two women in 2008

Posted by Metro Desk  October 7, 2010 04:05 PM

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CAMBRIDGE – A Cambridge man is being held on $1 million cash bail, charged with raping an 11-year-old boy and nearly decapitating the boy's father during a brutal armed home invasion in the Cambridgeport neighborhood in August.

"The apartment was a bloody mess'' when police arrived, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr. said at a press conference at Cambridge police headquarters today. "They arrived there because of the frantic 911 call that was made by the 11-year-old boy.''

Marcos A. Colono is also a suspect in a Sept. 21, 2008 rape of two female college students in Brighton, but has not yet been charged criminally for the attack in which a man forced two college-aged women to lie on top of one another while he assaulted them, authorities said.


marcos colono 2003 globe photo.jpg
Boston Globe 2003 file photo

Marcos A. Colono


Prosecutors said they believe Colono's DNA profile will match biological evidence collected from both the Brighton and Cambridge sex crimes because lab tests already show the evidence is from the same person.

A not guilty plea was entered on Colono's behalf at his arraignment in Cambridge District Court in Medford on charges of home invasion, armed assault with intent to murder, and two counts of rape of a child by force. He was ordered held on $1 million cash bail.

Colono is the brother of Michael Colono, 18, who was stabbed to death by then-Harvard graduate student Alexander Pring-Wilson in 2003.

Marcos Colono, officials said, was directly linked to the Aug. 26 attack inside a two-family Pearl Street home by a handprint left behind by the attacker, and a Boston police fingerprint record collected after Colono was arrested on an unrelated crime some time ago.

Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Katharine Folger said in court that police had responded to the adult victim's apartment in Cambridgeport shortly after 1 a.m.

Police determined that Marcos Colono had entered the apartment with a large butcher knife, Folger said, forcing the son to lie on top of his father in the living room while he looked for money to steal.

He later brought them both into the father's bedroom, Folger said, where he assaulted the boy at knifepoint.

After the boy refused to continue complying with Colono's demands, he allegedly stabbed the father eight to 10 times in the neck and three times in the back, in an apparent attempt to sever his head, according to Folger.

Folger said a bloody handprint on the wall matched prints on file in a 1998 arrest of Colono.

Colono's court-appointed lawyer, Benjamin Selman, said during the arraignment that the bail was excessive.

He said there was "no positive ID" made of his client "besides this alleged handprint."

Selman said Colono was born in Cambridge and has lived in the area his entire life.

He said Colono, who has a 15-year-old son, obtained his GED in 1994 and has worked "intermittently" in construction.

He said Colono's prior arrests were for shoplifting and assault and battery and he had defaulted on the cases about 12 years ago.

Colono was concealed from view behind a door today during the hearing.

Colono's mother and sister were in attendance but did not speak to reporters.

In 2003, Colono had harsh words for Pring-Wilson. "People want to know why a Harvard student would do such a thing. He was drunk, carrying a knife, and arguing with people on the street. To me, he was nothing but a Harvard thug," Marcos Colono said at the time.

Today, Leone said it is only a "coincidence'' that one Colono brother is a victim of a crime while another is now charged with committing a "horrific'' crime.

In Cambridgeport this afternoon, a woman came to the window of the Pearl Street home where the attack occurred but did not answer the door.

Alex Karutsky, a neighbor, said he was thrilled to learn of the arrest.

"That's great," he said. "Are you kidding? That guy was a scary guy, he just about killed (the man)."

Karutsky said he has not seen the adult victim since the attack but heard from a friend of the man that he is recovering from his injuries.

"Emotionally, he'll probably be carrying some baggage," he said.

Informed of the sexual assault charges, Karutsky said of the assailant, "he's a sick guy."

A woman walking her dogs who lives around the corner from the crime scene said she was frightened when she first learned of the attack but then focused on the victims.

"I was worried about, was the guy going to die?" said the woman, who declined to give her name.

Neither Karutsky nor the woman said they knew the adult victim well, though Karutsky said the two had shoveled snow together.

At the press conference at Cambridge police headquarters, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley applauded crime scene technicians who collected the key evidence that may soon directly link Colono to a vicious set of crimes.

“On a personal level, it’s a monumental relief for four victims whose lives were turned upside-down when their homes were invaded and their bodies violated by a man no one could identify,'' Conley said.

Conley said efforts are now underway to charge Colono for the Brighton attacks.

Originally published on the blog MetroDesk.

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