The trial of Gary Zerola – the former Suffolk County assistant district attorney who has faced multiple allegations of sexual assault over the years – began Tuesday as he faces two counts of rape in a 2016 case.
The 51-year-old former barrister-turned-criminal barrister is heard before Suffolk Supreme Court Justice Michael Ricciuti.
Prosecutors accuse Zerola of assaulting his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend after they partyed all night. The Commonwealth told jurors Tuesday that Zerola waited for the right moment to rape his then-colleague while she was sleeping on the couch after a night of partying.
Zerola has been charged with rape since 1996.
The Commonwealth said Zerola asked to meet the pair after learning they were hanging out together after work. But Zerola’s attorneys say that’s dead wrong.
Instead, his attorney says the alleged victim saw him post on social media and asked if she could join him. While he hung out and drank, his defense attorneys said the woman sat on his lap, pulled his face to hers and kissed him — despite it being her colleague’s boyfriend.
His defense attorney initially said the alleged victim denied any physical contact until she saw a picture. Meanwhile, prosecutors said Zerola deliberately assaulted the woman without her consent.
Zerola previously pleaded not guilty in the 2016 case. In the case, a 23-year-old woman told police she woke up in November of that year to find Zerola undressing and doing her clothes after a night of partying in the North End, the Boston Globe reported, citing criminal court files.
He posted bail of $10,000 in the case and has been awaiting trial ever since. His attorney said these allegations were “based on a basis of lies and we very much look forward to our day in court.”
Boston police have arrested a former Suffolk County prosecutor for rape. Gary Zerola turned himself in and appeared in court on Friday.
In 2008, Zerola was acquitted of two counts of rape in Boston and another count was dropped in Florida. The former prosecutor was also once one of People Magazine’s Best Bachelors.
In another case in 2021, Zerola was accused of breaking into the home of an acquaintance he had previously driven home from a private party and having sex with her against her will.