Crime

Former transit officer charged with rape after allegedly sexually assaulting 2 women while on duty in 2012

Shawn McCarthy, 46, allegedly offered the women a joyride in his cruiser before forcing them to perform sexual acts, said prosecutors.

A former MBTA transit police officer is facing rape charges after he allegedly sexually assaulted two women in July 2012 while on duty.

A Suffolk Superior Court grand jury reconvened this week under special social distancing measures after being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has handed down 99 indictments so far, three of which were against Shawn McCarthy, 46, of Wilmington, according to a news release from Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office.

McCarthy was arraigned Thursday in Suffolk Superior Court. He was released with conditions – that he not contact the victims, and that he get permission to go outside, the release said.

The day the alleged crime occurred, McCarthy was outside the Aquarium MBTA station when he told the victims, who had been out drinking in Boston, that he would take them for a joyride in his cruiser; a fellow officer had advised him not to do it, according to the release. McCarthy allegedly drove the victims around with the cruiser’s lights flashing.

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He allegedly stopped in an empty lot “so the women could relieve themselves,” and told them that “he hadn’t risked his job for nothing and he would not take them back downtown until he got something out of it,” the release said.

The victims said they were afraid, according to the release, and thought they would be in trouble if they didn’t do what he said. McCarthy then allegedly sexually assaulted them and forced them to perform sexual acts. He told them not to tell anyone what happened.

One of the victims reportedly told a male family member what happened soon after the alleged incident, the release said. She again spoke of what happened in August 2019 when answering questions as a candidate for a law enforcement job in a different community.

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The victims, at the time, believed McCarthy was a Boston police officer, but then authorities determined he worked for the transit police, according to the release.

“McCarthy admitted that he had two women in the cruiser on the night in question but denied any wrongdoing,” the release said. “He was placed on administrative leave in December 2019 and resigned soon afterward.”

In a statement, Rollins applauded the courage of the victims, citing the trust of law enforcement officials by the public.

“When a member of any law enforcement agency commits such a horrendous act, it erodes the community’s confidence in law enforcement as a whole,” she said. “When law enforcement asks for the community’s help in solving crime, we and the police must be trusted.”

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