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A former Boston lawyer and prosecutor who was once named one of People magazine’s most eligible bachelors was sentenced Monday to between five and 10 years in state prison for rape.

Gary Zerola, 52, was found guilty last month after a jury deliberated for five hours and has been incarcerated since then. He was acquitted of a greater charge of aggravated rape and burglary.

Prosecutors said that Zerola, in January 2021, paid more than $2,000 for a night of drinking with a woman he was dating and her 21-year-old friend who’d just graduated from college. The friend became intoxicated and had to be helped back to her Beacon Hill apartment. Zerola later entered the apartment without permission and sexually assaulted the woman around 2 a.m. while she was sleeping, prosecutors said.

In a victim impact statement that was read in court, the woman said she’d tried desperately to not allow the incident to affect her, or to give Zerola any power over the rest of her life. But she said that participating in the trial had brought up “the significant and insidious effect this event has had on my life.”

“For months after the incident, I experienced nightly recurring nightmares reliving the assault. Even today, I still have nightmares of someone breaking into my apartment and trying to assault me,” the woman wrote. The Associated Press does not generally name victims of sexual assault.

“These cases are always difficult, and this victim deserves enormous credit for taking the stand and telling the jury what happened to her that night,” Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a statement after the verdict.

Zerola’s attorney Joseph Krowski Jr. said Monday that his client is appealing the conviction. He said the sentence wasn’t what they wanted, but was within or close to the recommended guideline range for somebody without a previous criminal record. He pointed out that Zerola had been acquitted on two of the three original charges.

Krowski Jr. said his client was doing “as well as could be expected under the circumstances” and was going to put his time to good use and come out of the experience for the better.

Zerola had previously been accused of other sexual assaults but wasn’t convicted in those cases. He had faced two rape charges in Suffolk County and was acquitted in 2023, according to the district’s attorney’s office. He also was charged in three sexual assault cases between 2006 and 2007, but was not convicted.

Zerola worked as an assistant district attorney in Essex County for one year, and in Suffolk County for two months in 2000, according to former District Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office. He was arrested in January 2021.

The last of three masked men pleaded guilty to a failed attempt to extort $8.5 million from a wealthy Connecticut arts patron and her companion by threatening them with a deadly virus in a 2007 home invasion.

The 38-year-old Romanian citizen, Stefan Alexandru Barabas, had been on the run for about 15 years before finally being arrested as a fugitive in Hungary in 2022. He pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion, federal prosecutors announced.

Barabas is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 11 and could receive six to seven years in prison, if a plea agreement is accepted by the court, prosecutors said.

Three additional men in the case have already been convicted, including the two other masked intruders who prosecutors said entered the home in South Kent with Barabas brandishing fake guns. The men then bound and blindfolded millionaire philanthropist Anne Hendricks Bass and abstract artist Julian Lethbridge, injected them with a substance they claimed was a deadly virus and demanded the couple pay the $8.5 million or else be left to die.

After it became clear Bass and Lethbridge weren’t able to meet their demands, the men drugged the couple with a sleeping aid and fled in Bass’ Jeep Cherokee, prosecutors said.

The SUV was found abandoned at a Home Depot in New Rochelle, New York the next morning. Days later, an accordion case with a stun gun, 12-inch knife, a black plastic replica gun, a crowbar, syringes, sleeping pills, latex gloves and a laminated telephone card with the South Kent address was found washed ashore in Jamaica Bay, New York.

The accordion case and knife were eventually connected to the men, as well as a partial Pennsylvania license plate seen by a witness near Bass’ estate on the night of the home invasion, among other evidence.

Bass, credited with helping to raise the profile of ballet in the U.S., died in 2020. She was 78. In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Lethbridge said: “This has been an extremely long and arduous process. I am grateful for the professionalism and dogged work of various law enforcement authorities to bring these individuals to justice.”

“That said, I remain convinced based on the sophistication of the crime, as well as other facts, that there are others who participated in the planning and financing of this crime who have yet to be brought to book,” he said. “It is my continued hope that one day all who were involved will be known and that they too will be held to account.”

In 2012, during the trial of Emanuel Nicolescu, one of the intruders and Bass’ former house manager that she had fired, Bass tearfully described thinking she was going to die the night the three men burst into the home she shared with Lethbridge.

A suspect who was being held in a California jail on charges connected to a 2022 mass shooting in the state capital died in his cell Saturday, according to police and his attorney.

The 29-year-old male inmate died while in custody at the Sacramento County Main Jail around 2:15 a.m., the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement posted on social media.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported public defender Norman Dawson identified the man as Smiley Martin, his client who was awaiting trial on three felony charges stemming from an April 3, 2022, shooting in Sacramento that killed six people and wounded 12 others, including two of the alleged shooters.

Jail deputies were conducting a cell check and found an unresponsive inmate. The deputies and then fire department personnel attempted life-saving procedures but he was pronounced dead, the sheriff’s office said.

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death and release the man’s name after notification of his next of kin, according to the sheriff’s office, which said it will investigate.

Martin was “fighting to defend his innocence in the preliminary hearing process” at the time of his death, Dawson said in a written statement. More than 100 shots were fired in rapid-fire succession in a downtown entertainment area near the state Capitol building during the shooting around 2 a.m.

Two groups of men connected to gangs began shooting as bars and clubs emptied out at closing time, sending hundreds of people desperately trying to reach safety. At least five gunmen were involved, police said.

Martin, who was 27 at the time, was arrested while hospitalized with gunshot wounds. He was charged with murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession and transport of a machine gun.

Authorities also arrested his brother, Dandrae Martin, 26 at the time, as a “related suspect” on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and being a convict carrying a loaded gun. He suffered minor wounds.

A 54-year-old Minnesota man was convicted Thursday in the slaying of a high school student and stabbing of four other people who were tubing on a western Wisconsin river.

A Wisconsin circuit court jury found Nicolae Miu guilty of first-degree reckless homicide, four counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety and one count of battery, Minnesota Public Radio reported. No sentencing date has been set.

Isaac Schuman, 17, of Stillwater, Minnesota, was stabbed to death in late July 2022 while he and the other victims were tubing along the Apple River in St. Croix County, which sits along Wisconsin’s state line with Minnesota.

Two men from Luck, Wisconsin, a woman from Burnsville, Minnesota, and a man from Elk River, Minnesota, were wounded.

Miu, of Prior Lake, Minnesota, attacked the group after people accused him of approaching children in the water, investigators said in court documents. Miu told investigators that he acted in self-defense.

Miu was tubing down the river with his wife and several other people, according to a copy of a criminal complaint obtained by Minnesota Public Radio.

Miu told investigators that he was using a snorkel and goggles to look for a lost cellphone. Video and witness accounts indicate bystanders accused him of approaching children in the water. Witnesses said Miu was bothering a group of juveniles and others told him to leave, the complaint stated.

Instead of leaving, Miu punched a woman and a fight ensued, according to the complaint. Video shows him falling into the river, emerging with a knife and then stabbing a person.

Miu told investigators that he was provoked, according to the complaint. “They attacked me,” he said. “I was in self-defense mode.”

Prosecutors had argued that Miu had opportunities to diffuse the situation or walk away.

Defense attorney Aaron Nelson told reporters Thursday that he was surprised and “respectfully disappointed” by the verdict. Nelson said Miu was “sad, obviously disappointed in the result. And, you know, contemplating his future life.”

Schuman was heading into his senior year at Stillwater High School when he was killed. His family described him as an honor roll student who was preparing to apply to several universities to study electrical engineering.

A northern Illinois man charged with killing four people and injuring seven others by stabbing, beating and driving over them is expected back in court on Tuesday.

A judge in the city of Rockford is expected to consider prosecutors' request that Christian Soto remain jailed pending trial. The 22-year-old appeared briefly in court on Thursday, a day after the attacks in Rockford and his arrest. His defense asked for more time to prepare for the hearing.

The Winnebago County Public Defender's office, listed as Soto's representative in court documents, has not returned messages from The Associated Press seeking comment on his behalf.

The Winnebago County coroner on Thursday identified those killed as 63-year-old Romona Schupbach; 23-year-old Jacob Schupbach; 49-year-old Jay Larson; and 15-year-old Jenna Newcomb.

Authorities last week described a series of frenzied attacks within minutes at multiple addresses in a Rockford neighborhood, but said they had not determined a motive.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said Soto told police after his arrest that he had smoked marijuana with Jacob Schupbach and believed the drugs “were laced with an unknown narcotic" that made him paranoid.

Authorities have said Soto first stabbed Schupbach and his mother then violently attacked other people in the area and inside other homes. They said he beat, stabbed and used a truck to run over Larson, who was working as a mail carrier; wounded three people inside one home; and beat Newcomb, her sister and a friend with a baseball bat inside another home.

Authorities said Winnebago County sheriff deputies arrested Soto as he fled from another home where he had stabbed a woman and had been slowed down by a man driving by who stopped to intervene.

Two former Mississippi deputies wept in court Wednesday as a federal judge sentenced them to years in prison and condemned their cruelty for breaking into a home with four other white officers and torturing two Black men.

U.S. District Judge Tom Lee sentenced Christian Dedmon, 29, to 40 years in prison and Daniel Opdyke, 28, to 17.5 years.

Lee said Dedmon carried out the most “shocking, brutal and cruel attacks imaginable” against the two Black men, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker, and against a white man during a traffic stop weeks earlier.

Dedmon did not look at Jenkins and Parker as he apologized Wednesday, saying he’d never forgive himself for the pain he caused.

Jenkins, who has trouble speaking after being shot in the mouth during the January 2023 attack, said in a statement read by his lawyer that Dedmon’s actions were the most depraved of any of those who attacked him.

“Deputy Dedmon is the worst example of a police officer in the United States,” Jenkins’ lawyer read. “Deputy Dedmon was the most aggressive, sickest and the most wicked.”

On Tuesday, Lee sentenced 31-year-old Hunter Elward, who shot Jenkins, to nearly 20 years in prison and Jeffrey Middleton, 46, to 17.5 years. The judge called their actions “egregious and despicable.” They, like Opdyke and Dedmon, worked as Rankin County sheriff’s deputies during the attack.

Another former deputy, Brett McAlpin, 53, and a former Richland police officer, Joshua Hartfield, 32, are set for sentencing Thursday.

A South African man who tortured an Alaska Native woman and narrated as he recorded a video of her dying was found guilty of first-degree murder on Thursday for killing her and another Native woman.

The Anchorage jury returned a unanimous verdict against Brian Steven Smith after deliberating for less than two hours.

Smith, a 52-year-old from South Africa, showed no reaction in court and stared ahead as the judge read the jury’s verdict. He was arrested after a woman stole his cellphone from his truck and discovered the gruesome footage from 2019. The woman, a sex worker who became a key witness during the trial in Anchorage, then copied the footage to a memory card and ultimately turned it over to police, prosecutors said.

Smith later confessed to killing another Alaska Native woman whose body had been found earlier but had been misidentified. Smith was found guilty of all 14 charges, including two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Kathleen Henry in 2019 and Veronica Abouchuk, either in 2018 or 2019. He was also convicted of multiple counts of sexual assault.

Sentencing was set for July 12 and July 19. Alaska does not have the death penalty.

Freda Dan, who is part of the Abouchuk family by marriage, sat through the trial nearly every day and gave high marks to law enforcement and the judicial system for their thorough work. “We weren’t invisible, and we are people,” said Dan, who is from the village of Stebbing, adding they were treated with respect. Other family members declined to comment.

Also attending the trial was Smith’s wife, Stephanie Bissland of Anchorage.

“He was very good for me, but he had another life, I guess,” she said, adding his problems were likely exacerbated by heavy drinking.

Bissland said when he was first jailed, he was in a very dark place. “He got better,” she said.

She plans to write him and visit him when he is transferred to a prison. Divorce is not in the cards. “I said my vows,” she said. Jurors stayed in the courtroom Thursday after delivering the verdict to hear more evidence about whether the first-degree murder conviction involved aggravating factors. They later found the murder involved “substantial physical torture” after hearing additional arguments from attorneys. That will subject Smith to a mandatory 99-year sentence.

For Abouchuk’s murder, he faces 30 to 99 years.

The graphic videos were only shown to the jury during the three-week trial, but audio could be heard in the gallery, where some heard Henry gasping for breath before dying. Prosecutors said he drove around with Henry’s body in the back of his pickup for two days before dumping her corpse on a rural road south of Anchorage.

The video never shows the man’s face but his distinctive accent is heard on the tape. He narrates as if to an audience and urges Henry to die as she’s repeatedly beaten and strangled in an Anchorage hotel room.

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