Attleboro Man Indicted for Fairhaven Child Rape Cold Case
FAIRHAVEN — A man from Attleboro has been indicted on a charge of raping a child with force in connection to the rape of a 13-year-old girl in Fairhaven in October 2001, according to the Bristol County District Attorney's Office.
Now 37, Patrick Avila was 16 when he allegedly raped the victim after she had already been raped by another teenager.
He was first charged in juvenile court earlier this year due to his age at the time, but his case was transferred following a hearing in September and he was arraigned on Tuesday, the D.A.'s office stated.
The victim had gone to a school dance in October 2001 before meeting up with Brandon St. Don, who was 17 at the time.
She left the dance with St. Don, who gave her alcoholic drinks, before she felt dizzy and unwell.
St. Don told her he was taking her to a safe place, but took her to a friend's home on Delano Street in Fairhaven, where he dragged her into a car and raped her while she was passed out.
A witness saw St. Don raping the victim, who he knew was a child, in the car. The witness then pulled St. Don off the girl and punched him before forcing him to leave.
Patrick Avila was there when the witness found the girl, gave her clothes, and brought her to his basement to sleep.
St. Don was later convicted and served a state prison sentence for the rape.
The girl had a rape kit done after the incident, but the D.A.'s office said her kit was one of several thousand in Massachusetts that were never fully tested.
As part of an initiative from the Bristol District Attorney to test previously untested rape kits, a private lab recently fully tested this victim's kit.
According to the D.A.'s office, the test results allegedly found Avila's DNA on the oral swabs.
His DNA had been entered into the CODIS database in 2010 due to a felony conviction.
Prosecutors allege that Avila sexually assaulted the girl in the basement after she had already been raped by St. Don.
The victim told investigators that at the time of the rape, she knew who Avila was, but she did not have a relationship with him, does not remember seeing him that night, and did not consent to any sexual contact with him.
According to the D.A.'s office, the victim was "shocked and upset" when she was told about the evidence of sexual contact with Avila on the day of her rape 21 years ago.
Avila posted $10,000 cash bail after his arraignment at Fall River District Court on Tuesday and is expected back in court on Feb. 7, 2023.
The D.A.'s office stated that if the victim's rape kit had been fully tested, Avila would have been arrested and charged for the rape 12 years ago.
"I am very pleased our initiative has resulted in criminal charges being brought against another defendant," Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn said. "The victims and law enforcement had a right to have these kits fully tested."
"We look forward to completing the testing of all of the rape kits in Bristol County within the next month or two," Quinn added.
All 1,148 previously untested rape kits are expected to be fully tested by the end of January 2023, according to the office.
This case represents the fourth cold case rape the D.A. says has been solved under the Untested Rape Kit Initiative.