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Quincy police chief: MBTA station kidnapping, rape was crime ‘of opportunity’

"I don't particularly have any indication that it was because of race. I think that this evil person took advantage of a situation."

Christian M. Lynch.
Christian M. Lynch. NBC10 Boston via The Boston Globe
Quincy

The kidnapping and subsequent repeated rape of an Asian woman in her 60s from the Wollaston MBTA station in Quincy earlier this month was a “crime of opportunity,” according to Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan, who said Monday he does not have any notion the woman was targeted because of her race.

“This was a situation that I think was a crime of opportunity. I don’t particularly have any indication that it was because of race,” Keenan said during a public safety panel held in response to the incident. “I think that this evil person took advantage of a situation to abduct this woman and do what he did. He’s a sick individual.”

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Christian M. Lynch, 26, of Quincy, is facing multiple charges after authorities allege he kidnapped the woman from the station and brought her to a location where he repeatedly strangled and raped her for hours on Nov. 12.

Investigators have said the woman, who has not been publicly identified, was then brought to the Westgate Mall in Brockton and left in the parking lot. She apparently drew the attention of a passerby who called police, and she was later brought to a nearby hospital, police said.

Prosecutors have said Lynch tried to kidnap a second Asian woman at the same station but was not able to do so.

“She fought back and she just went into the (police) station,” MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green said Monday.

Lynch, who was also arrested in October after he allegedly exposed himself to a woman on a Quincy walking trail, has pleaded not guilty.

The case has rattled Quincy, particularly the city’s Asian community as hate crimes against Asian-Americans have risen nationally amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, Quincy Asian Resources Inc. hosted Monday’s community panel, which included Keenan, Green, Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey, Quincy Mayor Tom Koch, and state Rep. Tackey Chan, a Democrat from the Second Norfolk District.

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Several panelists stressed the neighborhood around Wollaston station is typically safe, but still urged residents to follow the long-issued advice from law enforcement: If you see something, say something.

Keenan said Quincy police do not care about the immigration status or English speaking ability of individuals who report crimes.

“We just want to keep people safe,” he said.

Since the attack, authorities have increased patrols in the area, using both uniformed and plain-clothes officers, Keenan said.

Police also intend to start offering self-defense classes for the public again — a program previously paused during the pandemic.

Green said MBTA Transit Police also have language translators on hand for crime reporting.

Both Keenan and Green said the details of the case make it unlike most of the others they have investigated in their decades-long careers.

“This is a horrific crime,” Green said. “In my 37 years, I’ve never seen anything like this. Nobody should have to endure what that victim endured — nobody should.”

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