Forensic genetic genealogy links Matthew Nilo to 2007-2008 Charlestown, Boston Rapes: bail set at $500,000

New York lawyer apprehended via advanced DNA tracing, tied to multiple historical assaults in Boston, changing the narrative of cold cases.

The prosecuting attorneys assert that Matthew Nilo employed deceit to transport three females to an isolated, industrial region of Boston in 2007 and 2008, subsequently assaulting them sexually, with each incident involving the display or insinuation of a weapon — specifically a firearm in one instance, and a knife in another.

Court proceedings have unveiled additional information regarding a series of sexual offenses perpetrated against women in Boston approximately fifteen years prior, with current allegations pointing towards a man now established as a legal professional in the New York City vicinity.

At age 35, Matthew Nilo appeared before Suffolk Superior Court on charges including aggravated sexual assault, abduction, attempted sexual assault, indecent assault, and battery after being deported from New Jersey after his arrest at his Hudson River residence the previous week.

According to the prosecutors’ claims, Nilo deceived three women into accompanying him to a secluded, industrial area of Boston in 2007 and 2008, where he sexually violated them under the threat of a weapon — on one occasion, a firearm, on another, a knife. The women had willingly entered his vehicle, as they alleged. However, at least one thought he was operating a taxi or ride-sharing service.

In a separate incident, it is alleged that Nilo physically assaulted a woman jogging near Terminal Street in Charlestown, subjecting her to a sexual attack using his hand. Despite his persistent threats of possessing a firearm, she repelled him.

At the time of these incidents, Nilo was residing in the North End of Boston and studying in the local area. The ages of the reported victims spanned from 23 to 44.

He was detained at his residence in Weehawken, New Jersey, following a year-long inquiry, during which Boston law enforcement cross-referenced DNA collected from the crimes committed four years prior against public DNA repositories, employing a technique known as forensic investigative genetic genealogy, as confirmed by the prosecution on Monday.

Through this process, Nilo was identified as a person of interest, leading FBI agents to procure his DNA from a glass he used at a corporate function. The DNA sample matched the one linked to the three rape charges and was similar to the DNA extracted from gloves used by a woman to resist her assailant in a separate incident.

Nilo contested all charges, pleading not guilty, and his bail was set at $500,000. Additionally, he was ordered to wear a GPS tracker, surrender his passport, and refrain from interacting with the victims or accessing Charlestown’s Terminal Street upon his release.

During court proceedings, his defense attorney advocated for a reduced bail amount, citing Nilo’s engagement and active law practice as reasons. Following the hearing, the lawyer expressed his ongoing process of familiarizing himself with the case details while casting doubts on the credibility of the DNA evidence linking Nilo to the offenses.

Having resided in Wisconsin, California, and New York — where he was temporarily relieved of his duties at his New York City job — the authorities have appealed for anyone who believes they may have been victimized or has relevant information about Nilo’s cases to reach out to the Boston Police or the FBI.

Nilo’s apprehension was facilitated by the combined efforts of FBI agents and the police, who had the reception desk of his building inform Nilo of an oversized package requiring his attention in the lobby, as disclosed in a court warrant. His employer, cyber-insurance firm Cowbell, stated that he was “suspended pending further investigation.