A 62-year-old New Bedford man who forcibly raped a teenage boy at Fort Taber two-and-a-half years ago was sentenced to serve up to 15 years in state prison yesterday, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Aristedes Lopes pleaded guilty Monday in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with rape of a child and kidnapping of a child under 16.

On June 13, 2017, the victim was at Fort Taber taking photographs of military bunkers with his cell phone. The victim told police that as he was taking pictures, an unknown, older black male approached him and brandished a knife. At knifepoint, this defendant held the victim in the corner of a bunker and raped him. When the rape was completed, the victim stated that the suspect was startled by some female voices which were approaching. The victim was able to use his phone to take a photograph of the assailant and followed him as the suspect met up with a woman and entered a car. The victim also took a photograph of the car, including the license plate.

The victim immediately reported the rape to his family members and was brought to the hospital for a rape examination. Police were also contacted at that time. The police took the photograph of the suspect and the vehicle and attempted to locate the suspect.

On the following day, police made contact with the vehicle’s owner. The owner told them that she had a male friend identified as Aristedes Lopes, who was staying with her. Lopes, who matched the appearance of the suspect in the photograph taken by the victim, was encountered by the police and arrested. He matched the suspect from the photograph taken by the victim. The owner of the vehicle also told the police that she had driven the defendant to Fort Taber on the previous day and that he went for a walk for approximately half an hour.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jason Mohan and the 12.5-to-15-year state prison sentence was imposed by Judge William Sullivan.

“This was a violent and premeditated sexual assault committed in a public place. The defendant was obviously looking for someone to prey on. I am pleased the defendant was held accountable without the victim having to testify at trial,” District Attorney Quinn said.

— Bristol County District Attorney’s Office