Man Shown Mugs in Sci. Ctr. Rape Case
Says Arrested Men Do Not Match Sketch of Assailant
Harvard police last month showed mug shots of several men arrested in the Science Center's basement bathroom to a former Lesley College student who claims he was dragged from the lavatory and raped more than two years ago, according to University officials.
"We had him look though composite [sketches] and the photos of people that have been arrested," said Lt. Lawrence J. Murphy, the head of Harvard's criminal investigation unit. "He wasn't able to come up with anything positive," Murphy added.
The Lesley man, who asked not to be identified, said none of the photographs of the 12 men arrested on the charge of "open and gross lewdness" in the Science Center in January matched the composite of his alleged assailant. But the man said there was a strong similarity between sketches of the alleged assailant and sketches of another person. He said that an officer told him the sketches appeared "identical."
In an interview with the Crimson, the man said that the rape had occurred in November, 1987, while he was a student in a Lesley program for the learning disabled. He said he went into the men's room on the way back to his Lesley dormitory and was accosted by several men there. One of the men later forced him to go to Memorial Hall and raped him, the man said.
Murphy said that the composite the man identified was that of a man wanted for raping a woman on the banks of the Charles River in November 1989, two years after the first incident allegedly occurred. "There was a similarity in the faces" of the men depicted in the sketches, Murphy said.
But Murphy said that the different sexes of the victims make it difficult to establish a link between the two crimes.
The Lesley man said that he entered the Science Center bathroom because it was the closest lavatory available. After entering, he said, three men walked into his stall and began to masturbate.
When he tried to leave, the man said, one of the three grabbed him, pushed him through the Science Center, and tried to force him into a car.
After finding an open door inside Memorial Hall, the assailant pushed the man against a wall and "started undressing me and doing sexual acts," the man said. He said no one tried to intervene as he was forced through the Science Center and into Memorial Hall.
The student said he went to Stillman Infirmary later that night and was admitted there for more than a week.
The victim said his assailant wore a blue and orange jacket with the name "George" stiched into the sleeve. The student said the suspect was a white male with a very light complexion, taller than 5'8" and in his late 30s or early 40s. According to the student, the assailant had a "reddish-orange" beard and mustache and light brown hair.
The description on the Harvard police sketch describes the man slightly differently. In that description, the suspect is listed as over six feet tall, in his late 20s or early 30s with a slender build. The sketch shows a man with a mustache but no beard.
According to the poster, the suspect may have been driving a large, brown, older-model station wagon which was last seen parked in the rear of the McKay Laboratory.
The man also said he had been raped by another man at the YMCA in Central Square in April 1989. Cambridge police refused to investigate that incident, he said.
The student, who graduated from the Lesley program in 1988, said that he only recently had heard of the restroom's reputation as a focus for sexual activity. "I had no idea. All that I wanted to find was a bathroom," he said.
Harvard police Chief Paul E. Johnson said the victim reported the rape in Memorial Hall to them soon after it occurred. He said the victim was interviewed and clothing samples were sent out for testing. Semen stains were found on the student's clothing, Johnson confirmed.
Although the Lesley student criticized the way Harvard police investigated his case, Johnson said the incident was handled appropriately.
"We went the whole nine yards. It was investigated thoroughly," Johnson said.