Details Emerge in Beacon Hill Rape Case and How Police Caught Suspect
Police were able to track the GPS signal on the victim's phone to a store Williams sold it to hours after the attack.
Below is an edited press release from Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley's office:
A man accused of forcing his way into a woman’s Beacon Hill apartment and sexually assaulting her earlier this month was held on high bail and had his bail on another assault case revoked at his arraignment Wednesday, District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
Granting requests by Assistant District Attorney Holly Broadbent, Boston Municipal Court Judge Mark Hart Summerville ordered Anthony Williams, 45, held on $1 million bail at his arraignment Wednesday afternoon, allowed an order to keep private the victim’s personal information, and revoked the defendant’s bail in a September assault and battery case.
Williams is charged with aggravated rape, kidnapping, armed burglary, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and armed assault in a dwelling. Prior to his arraignment in the Boston Municipal Court, he was arraigned in Dorchester District Court on an additional charge of receiving stolen property for allegedly possessing some of the victim’s property; no bail was set in that case and he was promptly transferred to the BMC for this afternoon’s proceedings.
Broadbent told the court that Williams followed the victim into her Beacon Hill apartment building as she returned home sometime after 2 a.m. on Nov. 10 and forced his way into her apartment. There, he allegedly threatened repeatedly to kill her, held a kitchen knife to her throat, and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.
After the assault, Williams allegedly tied the victim’s hands behind her and then tied her to a piece of kitchen cabinetry. He demanded the PIN number for her bank card and told her he would return and kill her if she gave him a phony number. Williams then left the apartment with the victim’s iPhone, iPad, jewelry, and ATM card, according to prosecutors.
The victim was able to free herself and went to a neighbor’s apartment to call for help. Though unable to describe the assailant’s face, she was able to provide police with a detailed description of his clothing, including a tan construction jacket with a darker collar and a large, dark backpack.
According to prosecutors, Boston Police obtained surveillance images from two ATMs where Williams used the victim’s bank card – one near the victim’s apartment and the second in Dorchester. Still images were distributed to staff at local homeless shelters as well as to the public. An employee at one shelter contacted police and identified the man in the photo as Williams, whom she knew from his stays at the shelter, prosecutors said.
Detectives also teamed with the U.S. Marshals to track the victim’s stolen iPhone to a local business in Dorchester, where the owner said he had purchased it on Nov. 10 from a man who regularly sells items at the business. Surveillance video from the business corroborated the owner’s story, and he identified Williams’ picture from a photo array, according to prosecutors.
Williams was arrested Tuesday at an address in Dorchester where he was visiting his mother.
Police obtained additional surveillance footage from Williams’ worksite that showed him leaving the location in the hours before the attack wearing the same clothing described by the victim, as well as a construction hat that can be seen in images from the ATM, Broadbent said.
“This case involved close, sometimes hourly, communication between police and prosecutors,” Conley said. “That’s the way we investigate and prosecute sexual assaults in Boston and Suffolk County. It’s a crime we know is underreported but one that we take extremely seriously. We offer a wide array of services to victims and survivors, and we want them to know that we’re always ready to help.”
While the victims of any crime are asked to call 911 in an emergency, the survivors of sexual violence in Suffolk County can also call the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s 24-hour hotline at 800-841-8371. The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center provides medical advocacy, legal services, counseling, and other services to victims of rape and sexual assault.
Williams, whose record dates back to the late '80s, previously served a 12- to 14-year sentence for a 1998 rape conviction in Essex County and was arraigned in BMC on July 31 for failure to register as a sex offender. On Sept. 4, he was arraigned in the same court for assault and battery. At that time, prosecutors asked that his bail on the failure to register case be revoked and that $200 bail be imposed; Judge Eleanor C. Sinnott declined to grant either request and released him on his own recognizance.
Williams was represented by Erin Opperman. He will return to court on Dec. 26.
For more on the case, see these Beacon Hill Patch stories: