A sexual assault case which has been outstanding for more than seven years moved forward this week when the Woonsocket Police Department arrested Armand Joseph Ferrio, 24, of 186 South Main St. for two separate incidents of reported rape dating back to 2004 and 2009.
Ferrio has been charged with two counts of 1st degree sexual assault and one charge of second degree robbery. Det. Alan Leclaire secured the arrest with the help of DNA evidence obtained during Ferrio's previous stint at the Adult Correctional Institute (ACI.)
In 2004, a 30-year-old female from Woonsocket was assaulted after meeting up with a man police believe was Ferrio on the River Street bridge. According to reports, the woman was walking on River Street when a vehicle pulled over. She initially thought she knew the driver and began making small talk before being assaulted and raped by the nearby railroad tracks. Ferrio would have been 18 years old at the time.
In the more recent case, the victim, a 49-year-old, female told police that she fell asleep at a friend's house and woke up with a strange man choking her until she nearly passed out. The man removed her pants and raped her several times before fleeing the apartment at 158 South Main St. She described her assailant as a white male with short hair and a tattoo on his forearm. The victim reportedly had wounds on her face and neck area. No one witnessed either attack.
Leclaire was investigating the 2009 incident when he picked up the unsolved case from 2004. Rape kits from both victims were matched up with DNA from Ferrio taken during his time at the ACI.
"We were helped through science and good detective work, and we're grateful for that" said Det. Lt. Eugene Jalette of the arrest.
Ferrio's previous criminal record dates back to 2004 and includes charges of driving under the influence, violation of a restraining order, obstructing an officer, reckless driving, two counts of minor in possession of alcohol, two counts felony assault, two counts of breaking and entering, two counts of possession of marijuana, three counts of driving without a license and four counts of vandalism.