‘I know it’s him’: Victim of accused serial rapist speaks
(NewsNation) — For years after she was raped, Lori Pinkham says she felt like a victim every day. Now, she views herself as a survivor.
Pinkham is one of several women who say they were sexually assaulted by Matthew Nilo, a New Jersey lawyer who has been charged with raping and sexually assaulting eight women in Boston 15 years ago. He was charged in early June with attacking four women and was indicted earlier this week on charges he assaulted four other women, the Boston Herald reported.
Pinkham is speaking out in hopes that she can be a voice for other victims. She said Thursday on “CUOMO” that she’s confident Nilo is her attacker.
“His eyes were the eyes of what is in my nightmares,” Pinkham said. “I know it’s him.”
Nilo, of Weehawken, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty to the first set of charges at his first arraignment in early June. Those charges include three counts of aggravated rape, two counts of kidnapping, one count of assault with intent to rape and one count of indecent assault and battery.
The charges stem from four attacks that happened in Boston’s Charlestown neighborhood from August 2007 through December 2008 — a time that authorities say Nilo lived in the city.
Nilo is now also accused of perpetrating five attacks on four women in the North End neighborhood in 2007 and 2008, according to the Herald. The new seven charges are: one count of rape, one count of aggravated rape, three counts of assault with intent to rape, and two counts of indecent assault and battery.
Describing her alleged attack, Pinkham said she was made to feel powerless and could tell that her attacker was a repeat offender.
“Ever since it happened, I always felt like he had done this before. The way he acted, I I knew this wasn’t the first time he had done it, and it wouldn’t be the last,” Pinkham said. “I could just tell the fear he wanted to instill in me, and the panic he wanted me to feel was just, you know, made me feel powerless, like I had nothing.”
The attack is alleged to have occurred in August 2007, when Pinkham says she was approached by a man holding a gun after a night out in downtown Boston, WCVB-TV reported. He told her to get in the car, which she did, but jumped out when he stopped the car in Charlestown.
“I tried to run as fast as I could. And he caught up to me, and he hit me with a gun repeatedly and ended up — I fell on these — some train tracks that were, you know, old wooden train tracks that were lying in the ground. And that’s when he raped me,” she said in an interview with ABC News.
Police identified Nilo as the suspect using DNA evidence.
During a corporate event earlier this year, the FBI recovered utensils and drinking glasses the defendant used, authorities said. They obtained DNA from his glass that matched the DNA from the three rape victims and was a likely match to DNA found on a glove worn by the fourth victim in the Charlestown attacks, prosecutors said.
Nilo’s attorney, Joseph Cataldo, has questioned the way his client’s DNA was collected.
Nilo has been released from jail after posting $500,000 bail. The conditions of Nilo’s release require him to wear a tracking device, keep away from the area where the assaults were reported, surrender his passport and have no contact with any witnesses or victims.
Pinkham previously told the Boston Globe she had not planned on speaking publicly about the attack until she learned Nilo would be posting bail.
“I hope I can be a voice,” she said. “I was a victim for a long time. I was a victim every day. But right now, and the more women and the more DNA that they have connected (to him) and the fact that they have identified him, really makes me feel like I’m more of a survivor. I’m not scared of him anymore.”
NewsNation digital producer Caitlyn Shelton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.