BOSTON (CBS) – A Chelsea man is being held without bail until a dangerousness hearing next week following his arrest Wednesday for a sexual assault in the Boston Public Garden in the early hours of November 8. Francisco Romero, 38, was allowed to shield his face in court, but police say his image was captured on surveillance and widely distributed in the days following the attack.
Prosecutors said the victim told police she was “out of it” after leaving a party and when she was trying to get an Uber on Charles Street, Romero approached her offering to help. “The victim stated the suspect put his arm around her. He walked with her inside the PublicGarden. The victim then stated the suspect picked her up and carried her on his shoulder,” said prosecutor Colleen O’Neill.
That’s when they say he violently dropped her on the ground near a dumpster, causing her to slam her head, and raped her. When the suspect fled she then ran to the Public Garden bridge where she found some people to call 911.
“It’s good to make an arrest. Hopefully it will be justice for the woman,” said Kim Foster walking through the Garden.
The assault left many who walk through the area shaken and altering their routines. “It’s such a nice place I enjoy walking through the Garden, but I haven’t since I heard about the incident, I walk outside on the main road,” said Ghada Alkhacid, who works nearby.
Prosecutors say Romero was arrested at a home on Library St. in Chelsea, helped they say by someone who knows Romero and recognized the yellow sweatshirt in the surveillance images, which troubled the defense.
“The Commonwealth should provide some explanation as to how this individual claims to know Mr. Romero,” said defense attorney Mike Reinhardt.
The judge ordered prosecutors to turn over information about the identifying witness. The dangerousness hearing is scheduled for November 25.