October 17 2018

Burlington Man Found Guilty of Rape and Armed Robbery in 2009 Will Not Get New Trial

By: Rich Hosford

A Burlington man who is serving time in prison on charges of rape and armed robbery had a petition to have a new trial rejected by the Supreme Judicial Court this week.


Renaldo Prado, who was found guilty on March 31, 2009 of one count of aggravated rape, three counts of armed robbery and three counts of witness intimidation in relation to two incident in January of 2009 in Burlington and Tewksbury, had sought to have his original trial thrown out.


Prado was found guilty after meeting women on Craigslist and arranging to meet up with them at a hotel for adult service but instead used a weapon to rob them and then intimidate them from calling the police. In one instance he was also found guilty of forcing a woman of self-penetration at gunpoint.


His argument in a petition for a new trial in submitted in 2016 stemmed from two points. The first is that because he himself did not penetrate the victim the act should not be considered “rape.” The second is that because the weapon in question turned out to be a BB gun that the charge of “armed robbery” was unjust.


A lower court found that Prado’s claims were without merit and the decision was appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court. This week that court upheld the lower court’s decision to reject a new trial.


In the written decision the court addressed Prado’s argument against the rape charge based on the particulars of the situation.


“We conclude that such conduct constitutes a ;mode of sexual connection’ that embodies an "’equally serious invasion of personal integrity’ as common-law rape,” the court explained.


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