BOSTON (WHDH) - A man charged in connection with a series of rapes in Charlestown went before a judge on Monday, where prosecutors laid out how they connected him with sexual assaults that took place nearly 15 years ago.

Matthew Nilo, 35, pleaded not guilty in a Boston courtroom as he was arraigned on charges stemming from four sexual assaults that took place in Boston in 2007 and 2008. The charges include aggravated rape, kidnapping, and sexual assault and battery.

During the proceedings, the prosecution stated how they used DNA linked to the cases to track the lawyer down through genetic genealogy.

“… he was placed under surveillance in early 2023 while living in New Jersey and working at a New York City law firm,” a prosecutor told the court. “FBI agents were able to obtain various utensils and drinking glasses they watched the defendant use at a corporate event. From one of the glasses, the Boston Police crime lab was able to obtain a male DNA profile, which [was] found to match the suspect profile from the three Terminal Street rapes.”

During the arraignment hearing, prosecutors detailed four incidents, from August 2007 to December 2008, in which they say Nilo attacked several women. The suspect was in his 20s at the time and was a student living in the North End.

“She accepted a ride from him to help look for her car, but instead, he took her to Terminal Street in Charlestown where they both got out of the car,” a prosecutor said, describing one of the assaults. “Once outside of the car, the male told her to shut up or he would kill her, and that he had a weapon. The male then proceeded to rape her.”

Prosecutors say three victims underwent a sexual assault examination collection exam after the attacks. Up until recently, there were no DNA matches at the time. Nilo was arrested last week and appeared in a New Jersey courtroom before being brought to Massachusetts.

7NEWS spoke with longtime genealogy expert Michael Brophy on Monday after Nilo’s court appearance, with Brophy weighing in on the evidence so far. 

“DNA does not lie and they certainly will not do it just based on the information in the database itself, but they will match up DNA that they’ve got from a glass or some other sample from the suspect and match it up to, in this case, the rape kit from years ago and I believe it is enough to gain very much a certainty that this is their guy,” Brophy said.

The tactics to obtain DNA evidence from Nilo, though, raised red flags for his attorney, Joseph Cataldo, who famously represented Michelle Carter.

“I do understand that the procedures used by law enforcement are somewhat suspect,” Cataldo told reporters outside of the courthouse. “It seems that they obtained DNA evidence without ever obtaining a search warrant. If that turns out to be true, that’s an issue that will be pursued vigorously.

A judge ordered Nilo be held on $500,000 cash bail and that he give up his passport. A bail review is scheduled to happen next week.

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