Lawyer Gary Zerola is accused of using his legal expertise to get away with repeated rapes on women (Picture: NECN)
A serial rapist lawyer keeps using his legal knowledge to get away with sex attacks on women, a court heard. Gary Zerola’s most recent alleged sex attack, on January 11, is said to have seen him convince the woman he was raping that their sex was consensual.
Zerloa, 49, allegedly started attacking the woman while she slept at an apartment in Boston. He then said: ‘Don’t you remember you asked me to take your key and come back?’ when she woke up, a bail hearing was told on Thursday.
Prosecto Ian Polumbaum alleges that Zerola, from Salem in Massachusetts, ‘was laying the groundwork for a consent defense’ with what he said to the woman. Polumbaum added: ‘(Zerola) has drawn on his experiences as both a criminal defense attorney and a rape defendant to avoid consequences.’
Judge Thomas Horgan ordered Zerola held in jail for up to 120 days, with another local prosecutor, Rachael Rollins, saying that showed evidence Zerola was ‘ a danger to the community.’
Zerola has been charged with rape five times. He was cleared of three of those charges, with the fourth and fifth still in the court system (Picture: Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office)
Rollins said: ‘He has a history of rape allegations dating back to 1996. He was out on bail for a separate rape indictment when this most recent attack allegedly occurred.’
The allegations against Zerola – once named one of America’s most eligible bachelors by People magazine – are the fifth rape charge he has faced in the last 15 years, with the defense lawyer and former prosecutor found not guilty in three of those cases.
The fourth charge, related to an incident in 2016, is still making its way through the courts. Two other women have since come forward to say Zerola raped them in the mid 1990s, although their allegations fall outside the statute of limitations, meaning they are too old to investigate.
During Thursday’s hearing Zerola sought to avoid being sent to jail ahead of his trial, claiming he was worried about being infected with Covid, Salem News reported.
But Polumbaum highlighted the party Zerola is said to have attended on the evening of the most recent rape allegation, including a trip to a restaurant that was supposed to be closed.
The prosecutor said: ‘Mr Zerola…based on the conduct described in this case and even apart from the offense charged, certainly didn’t display any concern for contracting or spreading the virus during these events.’
Zeroloa’s defense lawyer Joseph Krowski said the scandal-hit lawyer is ‘confident about his defense and he’s confident about how this will turn out for him.’
He went on to tell NECN that the claims made against Zerola were ‘absurd’ and ‘paper-thin.’
Zerola is due back in court for a probable cause hearing on February 22.
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