Crime

Police arrest suspect in reported rape downtown

Edwin Fantauzzi was then taken into custody following "a brief struggle," police said.

Boston Police Department

Police have arrested a level 3 sex offender in connection with a reported rape that took place downtown. The suspect has also been connected to other sexual assaults on the Boston University campus.

Detectives from the Boston Police Sexual Assault Unit obtained warrants for the arrest of Edwin Fantauzzi, of Lawrence, charging him with rape, assault with intent to rape, and assault and battery. 

He was arrested Wednesday, Boston police reported. Fantauzzi was recognized while in the area of 39 Roxbury Street, and police were contacted. He was then taken into custody following “a brief struggle,” police said.

While Fantauzzi was taken into custody, police say he swallowed a “small quantity of an unknown, white, powdery substance.” He was taken to a local hospital for treatment and will be booked after he’s released.

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Around 6:30 a.m. May 14, officers responded to a report of rape in the area of Harrison Avenue downtown, according to BPD

The victim, a 22-year-old woman, told WCVB she is relieved that Fantauzzi was caught.

“I’m thankful. I’m very appreciative that they worked on this so much and so hard. It’s a huge relief,” she said.

Fantauzzi claimed to be an Uber driver before asking to use a bathroom inside the victim’s apartment building.

“He dragged me into the building, and he was very violent. He was strong,” the victim told WCVB. “I thought he would take my keys and drag me back into my apartment and do something worse. I also thought I might be killed.”

According to WCVB, Fantauzzi was convicted in 2019 of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14.

“The Boston Police Department will stringently guard and protect the identities of those who wish to help this investigation anonymously,” BPD wrote in a release. “If you are a victim of a sexual assault that has or has not been reported to police and would feel more comfortable seeking confidential advice from a non-law enforcement agency, the Boston Police Department encourages you to call the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) at 1-800-841-8371.”

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BPD shared tips for ensuring personal safety, including remaining aware of your surroundings, walking with people you know, and avoiding distractions when walking.

“Remember descriptive information about the person following you to report to the police,” BPD wrote.

This reported rape came on the heels of two recent incidents on Boston University’s campus, including a sexual assault, and WCVB is reporting that “multiple sources” told 5 Investigates’ Kathy Curran investigators are eyeing Fantauzzi as a suspect in those incidents as well. Neither BPD nor Boston University Police could confirm that he is a suspect in those incidents. 

On May 13 at 11:45 p.m., a BU student reported an unknown person had forced his way into their apartment and assaulted them. The student fought off the assailant and called the police, according to a BU police advisory. The suspect was described as being in their late 20s or early 30s, with dark skin and a thin build. He was carrying a black backpack. 

Just a few minutes later, at 11:54 p.m., three BU students walking together reported they were “aggressively followed and offered a ride” by an unknown person. The suspect followed them over to the South Campus and the students used an emergency call box to notify police, according to the police advisory. The suspect is described as a male with dark skin and was driving a newer model silver or gray Ford pickup truck. 

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Community members with information can call 617-353-2121 or share it anonymously by texting the word ‘BU’ to TIP411 (847911).

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