Arboretum rape suspect was out on personal recognizance in another rape case; tied to scene by GPS

Updated with arraignment info, which is somewhat graphic.

Ashton Davis, 23, of Roxbury, had bail set at $50,000 today on charges he raped a student in the Arnold Arboretum while free awaiting trial for a rape earlier this year in Roxbury.

West Roxbury District Court Judge Mary Ann Driscoll found Davis was a potential threat to the community and revoked his bail in the Roxbury case. The judge and Davis's attorney, Thomas Karp, noted the bail in that case had originally been set to $25,000 but had been reduced to personal recognizance after the Suffolk County District Attorney's office failed to provide evidence at two probable-cause hearings.

One of the conditions of his Roxbury release was that he wear a GPS bracelet. Prosecutors said data from the device put him at the Arboretum attack location on Wednesday.

Davis stood hunched over in court today, his face covered by a black sweatshirt as he was formally charged with aggravated rape and armed robbery.

According to Assistant District Attorney Kristina Kerwin, the victim had gotten off the Orange Line at Forest Hills around 11 a.m., walked up the Arborway to the Forest Hills entrance, then walked in about 100 feet and set up to study.

About 15 minutes later, Kerwin said, Davis came up to her and demanded "give me your stuff" as he wielded a black-handled kitchen knife.

He took her phone, CharlieCard and $10, walked that back to his bicycle, then went back to her and asked her if she had anything else. When the victim said no, Kerwin said, Davis, holding his knife, gave her a choice: She could go in the woods and let him have sex with her or she could fellate him right there.

He then unzipped his pants and she fellated him at knifepoint, the prosecutor said. When Davis was done, he handed the victim her own water bottle, told her to drink some water, warned her not to go to police, then left, Kerwin said.

Kerwin asked for $150,000 bail and said Davis's indictment on the Roxbury case is imminent in Suffolk Superior Court. She said the high bail was warranted by the "horrifying nature" of an attack like this in broad daylight in a park.

Karp asked for a substantially lower bail, arguing the victim was unable to definitively ID Davis in a photo array and that her "maybe" when she saw a photo of Davis was not probable cause to charge him with a crime and that no test proving Davis's DNA was on the woman had been done.

Innocent, etc.



Free tagging: 


Successfully obtained

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Too bad the Suffolk prosecutors didn't successfully obtain higher bail or a longer prison sentence (not sure if this is pre- or post-trial) to prevent the attack.



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"...adding he was caught in

"...adding he was caught in part due to data from a GPS bracelet successfully obtained by Suffolk prosecutors in another case."

Dumb criminal of the week award?

Some criminals believe that

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Some criminals believe that the gps bracelets only go off if they are in violation of curfew.

Also some court officials see this kind of an arrest as a victory for the GPS system. Where as most people would say higher bail would have prevented the assault in this first place



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That is until the liberal judge decides using the GPS is a violation of his rights, and he has an expectation of privacy and you need a search warrant to obtain his location. welcome to MA where criminals have more rights than those they attack.


Welcome to Strawmanville

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No judge has ever done that and GPS bracelets have been around for years now.

In some cases, judges have declined requests from prosecutors to order GPS monitoring, just like they don't always agree to the bail requests from them, but no, it's not a privacy issue.


False there are currently

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False there are currently cases ongoing now where judges are considering whether or not to allow evidence where police officers called the GPS monitoring center to obtain location information linking individuals to crimes. It may come down to whether the criminals were made aware the info would be shared with police, it also may make a difference if they are on the bracelet as a bail condition vs a condition of release. Its a hot topic now as police attempt to use all tools at their disposal,

No there haven't been any

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No there haven't been any decisions because GPS units are explained in detail to defendants before they're put on. The defendants are fully aware that both law enforcement and probation will have access to their coordinates by contacting the GPS monitoring centers. They also know that if they enter an exclusion zone or break curfew, the monitoring center will alert law enforcement to the violation and a warrant will be issued.

Because GPS is primarily used as a condition of release in lieu of being held on bail, if the defendant objects to the intrusion of their personal liberties, they can always sit in jail until their next court date.

Also, assuring the defendant's appearance in court is one of about 13 factors the judge weighs when setting bail. Seriousness of pending charges is one of those factors.


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Read some Globe comments

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One poster said (she/he) thought it was scary it could occur at 11AM, and that they often job in the arboretum at 5AM.


It's not the brightest idea to jog in the arboretum at 5AM or any other park for that matter.

And the monitoring bracelet didn't stop him from assaulting and robbing, did it? If a person is clearly a danger to others, he/she should be locked up in a detention facility or psych hospital. They should not be roaming around looking for their next victim, with or without a monitoring braclet.


not the brightest idea

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to leave the house at any time. We should all live in constant fear.



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Blaming the victim makes you an a*hole!


I'm the poster you're responding to

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Where did I 'blame the victim'?That's right, I didn't. I wrote that jogging in the park at 5am is not a good idea. For a man or especially a woman. The victim was there at 11am, BIG difference. And even if she was assaulted at 5am, I wouldn't blame the victim. it's of course the fault of the predatory sociopath who attacted her, and who shouldn't be out on the street to begin with.You do realize there are people who aren't rational and sane, and some enjoy violating others, don't you?

It's a really good idea not to be jogging in the park, especially if you're a lone woman, at 5am. Commonsense I guess isn't so common.

As far as I can tell, if you

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As far as I can tell, if you are female, it is never "a good idea" to jog ever, anywhere. No matter the location or the time of day, there are hazards, and if you are attacked, or injured in any kind of accident, you'll hear all about how dumb you were to be out alone in that place, at that time.

I've jogged at five in the morning. I've jogged at 10 at night. I've jogged at high noon. I have the sunburn to show for it. I am not going to stop jogging. If jogging is your thing, I don't think you should stop either.

It sure would have been nice of the prosecuter had put up a better show for this guy's bail hearing.


Ok, fine

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Karp asked for a substantially lower bail, arguing the victim was unable to definitively ID Davis in a photo array and that her "maybe" when she saw a photo of Davis was not probable cause to charge him with a crime and that no test proving Davis's DNA was on the woman had been done

You're right. It wasn't him. But since he was standing right there at the time, maybe he can tell us who he saw in order to get his bail.


Going forward

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Any judge who lets a rapist go should be required to have the said rapist spend a week with the judge's (or a close relative's) teenage daughter as a condition of his release. That, and any lawyer knowingly defending a guilty criminal should be charged as an accessory to crime if the criminal re-offend once he's out. That will quickly plug up all the bleeding hearts and clip all the pony tails...


Anon, could you help us understand your position?

Any judge who lets a rapist go

Please define "rapist."

Do you mean "someone who has been convicted of rape," "someone who has been formally charged with rape but not brought to trial," or "someone who has been accused of rape by someone, no matter how flimsy the evidence?"



Funny how the proponents of the simple, commonsense steps that would solve all of our problems are completely unable to articulate the specifics of what exactly it is that they are proposing.

Let me guess

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A sleazy criminal defense attorney who also happens to be judge dougan's drinking buddy? Or perhaps one of those intellectual constitutional scholars advocating for the rights of criminals from a safe white suburb, where one never has to worry about becoming a victim of a violent crime?

As for "rapists" or any criminals in general, I'm talking about judges who routinely release individuals accused of serious crimes on personal recognizance simply because the poor overworked cop did not dot all the i's and cross all the t's while filling out the report. I guarantee you'd get off your high horse and start screaming for old sparky if that accused rapist/robber/murderer who walked on personal recognizance happened to live in your town, let alone on your street - liberal hearts bleed best from a (very) safe distance. They also love wanking over the fourth amendment while ridiculing their equally comical counterparts on the opposite end of the political spectrum wanking over the second. At least the few of the more sane righties make some sense when it comes to the second amendment - when one lives in a less affluent/higher crime area, it's nice to know one has an option of being able to greet an armed criminal who keeps beating illegal gun charges thanks to all the loopholes you happen to love so much with a little more than a "good day to you sir" when he decides to burst into your house and take your money/tv/car/etc. There would be no need for the second had it not been for the fourth giving armed criminals a carte blanche.

Broad brush you've got there.

Since you know so much about me and what I like and don't like, perhaps you could help to enumerate what you mean by "the loopholes I happen to love so much?"

Just for the record, I live in the city, a stones throw from a facility that treats the seriously mentally ill. There are without a doubt plenty of violent felons living in my town, and there have been murders on my street.

And I don't advocate for criminals' rights. But of course, as you and I both know, merely being accused of a crime does not mean one is a criminal.

And I'm a firm supporter of second amendment rights.

And I think Dougan's an asshole and a disgrace.

So you're pretty much batting .000 in describing me.

Just maybe, if you tried looking through something other than the "everything is right vs left" lens that has been so carefully and lovingly prepared for you by those who seek to manipulate your opinion, you might learn a little more about the world around you and the people in it.

Blame an archaic system

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whereby attorneys are allowed to appeal a bail amount in the first place. This is why judges consistently set bail amounts lower than what the prosecution recommends, to avoid the inevitable "bail is too high for the charges, my client has a right to a lower amount" appeals nonsense.

I agree with the principle that bail is a "promise to appear" and not intended to be a pre-trial punishment. I also agree with the principle that bail should take the suspect's ability to post into account. However, bail should also take into consideration the seriousness of the crime a suspect is charged with. And everything that Karp used in defense of getting the bail for a rape charge totally eliminated in favor of personal recogniance (thank you idiotic judges) are facts for a jury to weigh at trial, and not in setting bail for the suspect.

Study history much?

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What you are proposing is an even more archaic system.

It might help if you understood why our system is set up this way before commenting.

Archaic system

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The system you speak of was designed to prevent a bunch of angry redcoats from bursting into your house in the middle of the night, dragging you out of bed, accusing you of betraying the king and drawing & quartering you in the local town square. As far as I know, there haven't been any angry bands of redcoats roaming around looking for traitors for quite a while now, but plenty of criminals used the loopholes in the law to get away with all sorts of crimes. Now, if you look at Japan, the darling of all gun control liberals, their justice system is rather archaic and draconian, yet no one feel their liberties are being violated, everyone respects the law, and there's less crime in the whole country than in any major US city.


Now, if you look at Japan, [...] no one feel their liberties are being violated,

You can't possibly be serious, or maybe you don't know much about Japan.

"The darling of all gun control liberals"...

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You don't think the Second Amendment is based on the same "archaic" notions? Or was it really designed to make sure that you could hoard as many AR-15s as you want in your basement to protect against the coming Obamabot Muslim race warriors?

Let's trade

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I'll gladly give you the second if you give me the fourth. You see, I'm not worried about the big bad government arresting me for no reason and I have no need for an ar-15, but I'm certainly worried about all the gun-toting thugs beating illegal firearm charges left and right thanks to a loophole that should have been taken off the books hundreds of years ago. Unlike all the w suburb limo liberals, I (and many others) actually live in a location that is affected by the said thugs on a daily basis.


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The comment appears to be about Japan's justice system, not gun control. Cherry pick much?

I have no problem with a defense attorney

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arguing for lower bail on behalf of their client. However, the proper forum to make their arguments should be BEFORE the bail amount is set, not after.

And, I have a serious problem with judges arbitrarily making significant reductions in the bail amounts recommended by prosecutors (which has become all too commonplace in Massachusetts). Especially when said judges are not required to provide ANY justification for such reductions in bail. But, if we're going to allow this nonsense practice to continue, let's make it truly fair and open. First, and judge that overrides a prosecutor's bail recommendation should be required to state for the public record their specific reasons supporting their lower bail amount recommendation. Second, if a judge's final bail amount is more than 25% lower than the prosecutor recommends, then automatically give the prosecution the same rights of appeal that the defendant has if they consider the bail amount "too high".

Bail should be determined based on these factors (and in this specific order):

Seriousness/severity of the charges.
Potential flight risk of the defendant - this should be based principally on financial resources and past criminal record (if one).
Ability of the defendant to post bail.

In other words, let's apply a little more common sense to this matter, and a little less of the "letter of the law" approach. Because the actions of the judge in reducing bail in this case certainly resulted in a positive outcome for other people- not.

One other thing to ponder. If the evidence was so weak that personal recognizance was granted, why was the defendant ordered to wear a GPS bracelet instead of the charges being thrown out?


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I'm so sick of women being preyed on. It is an outrage! Where is the outrage that rape and sexual assault are so incredibly common.


Boston has over half a

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Boston has over half a million residents, and sees hundreds of thousands more enter the city every weekday. Since 2003, rapes have been running in the mid-200s - before that, it was mid-300s. Every rape is one too many, but rape in Boston is not 'incredible common' in any rational sense of the word.



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There were probably too many people in the Suffolk County Jail on possession charges to keep this rapist in prison. Because, you know, drug possession is like, the worst thing know, aside from raping and violently assaulting people.


You really believe an accused

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You really believe an accused rapist was out because the jails were full of drug addicts. If anyone, a person with a drug possession is first in line to get a personal recognizance or the minimum $40 bail. Just ask the police, there's no shortage of default warrants for drug users with no intention of facing their charges.


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I'm NOT blaming the victim, nor would I ever. I am genuinely curious about the timeline of events however. The victim gave him the cash, phone, etc...and he walked away to his bike. Then he came back and demanded fellatio or sex.

Maybe it's just the way the ADA told the story, but it leaves open the question of whether the victim had time to walk away or run away, seeing as how a man with a knife had just robbed her and the logical next step would be going to get help.

Repeat, I am not blaming the victim. Nor do I have any idea how I would have behaved in this scenario had it been me. But, having sat through my share of criminal trials as part of what I do for work, I have a hard time with the way the DA's office sometimes presents timelines and facts in a way that allows for reasonable doubt.


It doesn't say how far away his bike was parked. A few feet? And whether he told her not to move. He still had the knife and probably was in sight of the victim. Just theorizing, of course. But I suspect the bike wasn't far.

Reflexive blaimng of

..imaginary victim blamers is a popular sport here.

It tends to be accompanied by a bracing shrillness unencumbered by reading comprehension or thought processes.

Rush to judgment in the comments

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Under the law, this guy is presumed innocent - of both charges.

The fact that he was out on recognizance on the first charge indicates there is not much evidence against him on that one. If it was a strong case, he'd be in jail.

A lot of times people are accused on mug shots. These identifications are problems for three reasons: 1. people's memory is deficient, 2. a lot of people look similar to someone else, even very similar, 3. police sometimes suggest an ID "take a close look at this picture."

I once saw a robbery case in Suffolk County where the defendant was ID'd through his mugshot - taken for possession of marijuana. He had no alibi and lived in the area of the robbery. Through a coincidence and the work of a good detective, the real robber was caught in possession of the stolen jewelry. He was pretty much an identical twin to the defendant.