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Groping Suspect Arrested, Charged with Rape

Allston man may be connected to other incidents

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Boston police have arrested and charged an Allston man with indecent assault and battery in connection with the gropings of two women with BU connections earlier this month. The same man, Steven Lent, 26, has also been charged with raping a non-BU affiliate last August 14 and with indecent assault and battery of a BU student, also on that day.

Lent pleaded not guilty to all charges in Boston Municipal Court yesterday, according to Boston University Police Detective Lieutenant Peter DiDomenica. Judge David Donnelly released Lent on $50,000 bail, ordered him to surrender his passport and stay away from the Allston/Brighton area, and imposed a curfew.

“Boston police and Suffolk [County] prosecutors are investigating whether these offenses may be connected to similar incidents in Allston and Brookline” earlier this month, according to a news release from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. A string of assaults on May 4 and the weekend before that involved BU students and a University staff person.

The news release said that a man matching Lent’s description was captured on BU surveillance video near 855 Commonwealth Ave., and that the images “proved instrumental in identifying Lent as the suspect in all four sexual assaults.”  The security cameras were installed two years ago at the request of University President Robert A. Brown.

The BUPD assisted Boston police’s Sexual Assault Unit in the investigation, providing them with the surveillance video. The Boston Police Department then posted it on their website and released it to the news media. Not long afterward, they received a call from someone who identified the man in the video as Lent, says DiDomenica.

On May 4, according to the release, a woman told Boston police that a man approached her from behind near Chester Street shortly after 5 p.m. and tried to lift her dress. The woman said she hit the man and chased him toward Brighton Avenue, but he eluded police. Just before 9 p.m. that night, Lent allegedly committed a similar assault on Commonwealth Avenue.

The alleged rape occurred last August near Quint and Brighton Avenues at about 8:30 p.m. It followed by 40 minutes an alleged assault on another woman, a BU student, near 39 Brighton Ave. The suspect’s description matched in both cases.

18 Comments
Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

18 Comments on Groping Suspect Arrested, Charged with Rape

  • Ralph Nwoke on 05.27.2015 at 5:35 am

    Great news!

  • Mo on 05.27.2015 at 6:08 am

    Unfortunately the creep is out on low bail . Should have been NO bail or a million $. Outrageous.

    • chief on 05.27.2015 at 7:57 am

      I know, too many pieces of trash like him get out with a slap on the wrist. This is why i’m always so worried about my daughter, Jesus Christ.

      • Jose Artigas on 05.28.2015 at 7:14 pm

        Chief’s overall concerns are valid, but let’s not confuse a bail hearing with the actual trial. $50,000 is neither low nor high, & probably justified. In most cases the courts do their homework well in determining whether the accused is dangerous or a flight risk. Lent’s multiple incidents will make it much harder to escape justice.

    • DM on 05.27.2015 at 9:40 am

      Agree 100%. He is obviously a messed up individual who is a threat to others. I highly doubt someone telling him to stay away from a particular area will stop him–and if it did he’d probably just do it in another town! Also, what will a curfew do? He was groping women in broad daylight! I’m glad they caught him but releasing him on bail does not make me feel safer, and makes me feel that his sentencing will also be a slap on the wrist.

      • I'm broke on 05.27.2015 at 11:33 am

        50,000 bail is cheap? I’m not trying to defend this guy, but I doubt he has 50k to get out on bail.

        • Jenn on 05.27.2015 at 12:01 pm

          Most people don’t post full cash bail, they go through a bail bondsman and the defendant pays the bondsman about 10% of what the bail is (So $5,000 in this case). The bail bondsman has an insurance company would pay the full bail if the defendant skips town.

        • DM on 05.27.2015 at 12:13 pm

          Apparently he does, or he went through a bail bondsman like Jenn suggested, because he’s already been released on bail.

    • kitty on 05.27.2015 at 2:02 pm

      Totally agree–and he lives in Allston and the judge told him to stay away from Allston/Brighton?

  • Jenn on 05.27.2015 at 8:03 am

    So glad they got him. Hope it’s the right guy and if it is I hope they throw the book at him.

  • Terrier on 05.27.2015 at 9:18 am

    What a pathetic loser. He should receive the bamboo caning (good ol’ Singapore style) and triple that bail.

  • Lara on 05.27.2015 at 9:50 am

    “Judge David Donnelly released Lent on $50,000 bail, ordered him to surrender his passport and stay away from the Allston/Brighton area, and imposed a curfew.”

    A rapist is not in jail. He was charged with rape, and he is roaming free. How is this a success? This is horrifying.

  • BU staffer on 05.27.2015 at 10:24 am

    I’m glad the suspect was caught, but especially given that he was charged with rape, it is upsetting that he was released on bail, which gives him more opportunity to harm others.

  • Critical Thinker on 05.27.2015 at 11:57 am

    Everybody here is making the false assumption that this man is guilty. According the US Constitution, he is INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY AND CONVICTED BY A JURY OF HIS PEERS. Yes he is allegedly the suspect of several sexual assault cases, though video evidence is certainly not definitive evidence and he has not yet been brought to trial. This article does a good job of telling all the stories except for his, which hasn’t been allowed to be heard yet.

  • kitty on 05.27.2015 at 2:09 pm

    Uh, okay. No one is saying he has been proven guilty; however, it is the court’s responsibility to assign “reasonable bail” and impose other restrictions to guarantee an alleged perpetrator appears for trial. Taking his passport suggests there is a concern for flight, but the USA is a very, very big place to hide, and what Jenn notes above is correct: With a rape complaint and numerous complaints for Sexual Battery (the uninvited touching of another for sexual gratification), losing the $5000 he likely posted on the $50,000 bail seems like at least as reasonable a risk as going to trial on all of these charges.

  • Observer on 05.29.2015 at 11:11 am

    In no way am I defending this guy but convicting this guy on the basis of surveillance videos is going to be more difficult than people think. If you just happened to fit the description and by random chance were walking in the area of the crimes, the wrong person could easily be accused. So, leave a crack in the door that the police may of got it wrong. I did not find the surveillance video to be so convincing of his guilt but I did find the fact that he sprinted away from a TV reporter at the courthouse to be in line with his behavior in carrying out the crimes. I am sure his lawyer told him to shut up and don’t talk to anyone before the court case but I doubt that his lawyer told him to sprint away from the media. People are creatures of habit. My observation of his behavior at the courthouse is not real evidence of his guilt but it convinced me that the police probably have the right guy.

  • Dan on 06.03.2015 at 1:07 pm

    To all you people defending him: Congratulations. He’s been released. Now don’t be surprised if your loved one is attacked/violated by him. I’d love to see how many of you would still defend him then.

  • louise on 06.06.2015 at 11:16 pm

    And thats why sexual predators are still getting away with offences because the penalties are not harsh enough to curb the excessive rise against the vulnerable …the fact is he is a very sick man is out there with knowledge and backing of the law…he will wait a littlle but he will strike again and the chilling aspect is that this time he might be more astute and daring …there is going to be another incident worse this time and we know that because this is the trend so thanks alot judiciary

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