A broad daylight attempted sexual assault at a well-known gallery in the South End has resulted in the arrest of a man in Malden – a man who has been sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a 20-day mental health evaluation.
Anthony Smith-Pacheco, 24, originally of Waltham, appeared in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday to face charges of assault with intent to rape and indecent assault and battery. After hearing from the court clinician, Judge Richard Sinnott ordered that Smith-Pacheco undergo a 20-day mental health evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital. ADA Brian LeBlanc filed a motion for a dangerousness hearing that will likely be taken up on the next court date, April 18.
The incident took place on Sunday when the suspect allegedly went into the Adelson Galleries on Harrison Avenue where a female employee was working at the time. He asked to use the bathroom, and the employee told him he could not.
After that, he went to the downstairs portion of the gallery and spent nearly an hour down there. When he came up, he asked the female employee on a date, and she refused. It was at that time – which was around 2 p.m. – that he exposed himself to her and then forced her to the ground.
He attempted to rape her, but she was able to get free and run outside – where a passerby assisted her as the suspect fled the area.
Police began searching for him later that day, and through a photo put out to the public, his grandmother in Florida was able to alert police as to his true identity.
Police arrested him in Malden this week after utilizing that tip.
Sources said the man had come in before to the gallery, and had made people in there feel uncomfortable. However, they didn’t take the step to alert police about his behavior.
The employee released a statement to Boston 25 television saying that these kinds of assaults happen anywhere – even in a nice neighborhood like on Harrison Avenue.
“What happened was plain and simple an aggravated sexual assault by a man I do not know, in broad daylight at my place of work in what is considered a ‘good’ neighborhood, whatever that means,” she wrote. “These kinds of assaults do happen anywhere and at any time. Though it has been more than difficult to talk about the situation, I instinctually knew that if I had the power to fight, to run and to report it I could potentially save someone else from a situation like this. The bruises will fade, and I hope that my situation can support the idea that it is never the survivor’s fault.” In court, the man was identified as having an intellectual disability that has been known about for some time. He has multiple pending cases for other crimes in Middlesex County