'92 rape charges remain in place; Prisoner fighting Leicester case.


Byline: Gary V. Murray

WORCESTER - A judge has let rape and kidnapping charges stand against a South Weymouth man accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old babysitter in 1992 after allegedly abducting her and a 4-month-old infant.

Martin Lovato, 49, was indicted in 2007 on aggravated rape and kidnapping charges after a DNA match linked him to the Sept. 18, 1992, sexual assault in Leicester, authorities said. The Worcester teen was walking the baby in a stroller in the area of Illinois Street when a man police contend was Mr. Lovato allegedly asked her for directions, choked her, forced her and the baby into his car, and drove to a secluded area in Leicester.

There, Mr. Lovato allegedly raped the 17-year-old after threatening to kill the baby with a screwdriver if the teen did not comply with his demands. Authorities said the girl was tied to a tree and the baby was left near her before her attacker fled. The girl eventually managed to free herself and ran with the baby to a nearby house for help, according to police.

In 2006, a DNA profile derived from evidence recovered by investigators was matched to Mr. Lovato's DNA profile in the state's Combined DNA Index System, authorities said.

Three months before he was indicted in April 2007, Mr. Lovato was sentenced in Norfolk Superior Court to 20 to 25 years in state prison on one count of aggravated rape and to a consecutive term of life imprisonment on a second rape charge. Those charges stemmed from the rape of a teenager in Quincy in 1994. That case also involved DNA evidence.

Mr. Lovato is awaiting trial in Worcester Superior Court and is being held in lieu of $1 million cash bail, even as he is serving the two sentences in state prison ordered in the Norfolk Superior Court case.

Earlier this month, Judge Peter W. Agnes Jr. denied a motion filed by Mr...

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