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    Man charged with raping 2 women at gunpoint; prosecutors fear there are more victims

    New Hampshire State Police wanted no part of Joseph A. Losano when he tried to get a job with the department.

    The Swampscott native and military veteran was rejected after a rocky interview, in which he told a trooper that he “might have” bitten off part of someone’s ear during a fight and boasted that “no one messed with me,” legal filings show.

    On Wednesday, prosecutors asserted that Losano’s violent tendencies escalated. He was arraigned Wednesday in Roxbury Municipal Court on charges of raping two women at gunpoint last year.


    Though Losano failed to become a police officer, he worked as a per-diem substitute teacher in the Swampscott Public Schools for three months in 2017, according to Pamela R.H. Angelakis, the superintendent.

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    In court Wednesday, Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Ian Polumbaum said both women were working as prostitutes when Losano picked them up in Boston and allegedly raped them on a mattress on the bed of his truck. Polumbaum also suggested there could be more victims.

    “There are at least two other women, also engaged in prostitution, in the same general area in this district who have reported very similar assaults at gunpoint with very similar descriptions of both the male and a truck, and in one case a plate number that also matches,” Polumbaum said. “We’re obviously still trying to nail those down.”

    A not-guilty plea was entered for Losano, who was ordered held on $50,000 bail on two counts of aggravated rape.

    Polumbaum said the women whom Losano is charged with raping identified him as the gun-wielding attacker in separate photo arrays over the past week. He was arrested Tuesday.


    In both instances, Losano is accused of driving the women out of Boston, attacking them, then driving them back to the city. He threw money at one woman before driving away, Polumbaum said, and one of the women said she thought Losano might have been a police officer because of his demeanor.

    Several years ago, he had his sights set on a career in law enforcement.

    A 2007 ruling from the Civil Service Commission and court records in a related lawsuit show that Swampscott police bypassed him for appointment as a reserve officer six years earlier, after learning he had allegedly pulled a gun on the brother-in-law of a local police officer.

    Losano denied the allegation, and charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon were dropped. He later sued the town in US District Court in Boston for malicious prosecution and won a $40,000 judgment, according to legal filings and his attorney.

    But Losano also tried to become a New Hampshire trooper, and records show that he exhibited troubling signs of violence during that interview process.


    “When asked by [a New Hampshire trooper] if he had been involved in many fights while growing up, [Losano] responded that he had,” the commission ruling said. “When asked if anyone had been injured, he responded, ‘some people were severely hurt.’ . . . [The trooper] asked [Losano] if he had been in a fight, ‘where he actually bit a portion of someone’s ear off?’ [Losano] responded, ‘that might have happened.’ ”

    And Losano was far from contrite in recounting episodes from his past, according to the records.

    “[The trooper] noted that [Losano’s] demeanor was cocky and he had a smile on his face while saying, ‘no one messed with me,’ ” the ruling said.

    Swampscott police previously revoked his firearm license, but Losano got it back on appeal and has five guns legally registered, according to court filings and prosecutors.

    The circumstances of his employment in the Swampscott schools were unclear Wednesday.

    Angelakis confirmed in an e-mail that Losano “served as a per-diem substitute teacher in Swampscott Public Schools from January 2017 to March 2017. He has not worked for the district in any capacity since that time.” She didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry seeking further comment.

    At his arraignment Wednesday, Losano’s court-appointed attorney, Arnold Abelow, didn’t directly address the allegations but said eyewitness identification is “a process fraught with unreliability.”

    Abelow described his client as a lifelong Swampscott resident who graduated from Swampscott High School and studied criminal justice at Salem State.

    Losano, Abelow said, served in Iraq and Kuwait with the US Marine Corps and was honorably discharged before joining the Army Reserve and later the National Guard.

    Travis Andersen can be reached at