Prosecutor: DNA lifted from drinking glass linked attorney to string of violent rapes in Boston

A New Jersey lawyer suspected in a series of violent rapes and assaults in Boston was arrested and charged after investigators linked DNA lifted from a drinking glass to four separate attacks on women that occurred over a decade ago, authorities said.

Matthew J. Nilo, 35, was ordered held on $500,000 bail after he was arraigned Monday in Suffolk Superior Court on charges including three counts of aggravated rape, two counts of kidnapping, and single counts of assault with attempt to rape, and indecent assault and battery in connection with assaults in Charlestown in 2007 and 2008, according to the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office.

Nilo was arrested last week at his Weehawken, New Jersey, home and he agreed to waive extradition back to Massachusetts during an appearance at Superior Court in Jersey City.

During the early morning hours of Aug. 18, 2007, a 23-year-old victim was looking for her car after a night out with friends in the area of State Street when she was approached by a man in his 20s, Assistant District Attorney Lynn Feigenbaum said in reading from court documents.

“He offered to give her a ride to help look for the car, but instead he took her to Terminal Street in Charlestown, where they both got out of the car,” Feigenbaum said. “Once outside the car, the man told her to shut up or he would kill her and that he had a weapon. The man proceeded to rape her on a grassy area near railroad tracks.”

After the assault, the victim sought help from a passerby and she was taken to a local hospital, where she underwent a sexual evidence collection exam. Male DNA obtained during the test was entered into a national database.

Months later, on Nov. 22, 2007, a 23-year-old woman left a bar on State Street after attending her high school reunion and entered a vehicle that she thought was a taxi cab. She also described the driver as a man in his 20s.

“When the victim told him he missed her address, he flashed a small knife at her. He then drove to Terminal Street, where he ordered the victim out of the car, knocked her to the ground, and raped her,” Feigenbaum said.

This victim was also taken to a local hospital, where she underwent a sexual evidence collection exam. Male DNA obtained during the test was again entered into a national database.

On Aug. 5, 2008, a 36-year-old woman panhandling in the area of Boylston and Arlington streets near Boston Common was approached by a man in his 20s who promised to give her money if she went to Charlestown in his car.

“She accepted and the man drove her to Terminal Street. Shortly after they got out of the car, he tackled the victim to the ground, held a gun to her back, and raped her,” Feigenbaum stated.

She too was taken to a local hospital, where she underwent a sexual evidence collection exam. Male DNA obtained during the test is said to have matched a profile from the two previous rapes.

On the morning of Dec. 23, 2008, a 44-year-old woman was jogging in the area of Terminal Street in Charlestown when a man ran up behind her, put his arms around her upper body, and tackled her to the ground.

“The victim fought him off, using her gloved hand to poke at his eyes,” Feigenbaum said.

As part of a subsequent investigation, her glove was taken as evidence but no forensic link was established at the time.

Boston police revisited the assaults in 2022 and identified Nilo as a person of interest after employing forensic investigation genetic genealogy, officials said. Nilo was then placed under surveillance in 2023 while he lived in New Jersey and worked at a law firm in New York City.

“FBI agents were able to obtain various utensils and drinking glasses they watched the defendant use at a corporate event,” Feigenbaum explained. “From one of the glasses, the Boston Police Crime Lab obtained a male DNA profile, which was found to match the suspect profile from the three Terminal Street rapes.”

The glove that the December 2008 assault victim used to poke her attacker’s eyes was sent to a private lab for testing and it was determined that the DNA profile was “314 times more likely to belong to Milo than any other male in the population,” authorities said.

Nilo was living in Boston at the time of the alleged assaults and attending college after graduating from Boston Latin School.

Nilo has also lived in Wisconsin, California, and New York, where investigations are also underway. He moved back to the East Coast in 2019 and had been working for a cyber insurance firm, which suspended his employment.

Clerk Magistrate Edward Curley also ordered Nilo to wear a GPS tracker if released, surrender his passport, have no contact with the victims and stay 1000 feet away from Terminal Street in Charlestown unless accompanied by his attorney.

Nilo will return to court next Monday for a bail review hearing at 9 a.m.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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