Petty scammer charged with sexually assaulting blind, homeless woman 3 times in April
A man with a history of assault and burglary has been charged with repeatedly sexually assaulting a blind woman at a South End healthcare facility for the homeless.
Joaquim Fortes, 51, was arraigned in Boston City Court late last month on three counts of indecent assault and assault on a person over the age of 14. Judge James Coffey set $5,000 bail and ordered Fortes to stay away from the victim and the Barbara McInnis home, the Albany Street health facility where he is accused of assaulting the victim.
“This victim deserves tremendous credit for cooperating with police and helping them gather enough information to arrest the person responsible for these assaults,” Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a statement Friday. .
According to the DA’s office, Fortes — whom they list as being from Boston but who has been listed as from other locations in previous arrests, including New Bedford — on April 1 entered the victim’s bedroom. three times and placed his private part in the victim’s bedroom. hand.
The victim, who is not only legally blind but also suffers from multiple sclerosis, told authorities that she was confused due to being dizzy in the first two alleged assaults, but had regained her faculties in the third instance and chased Fortes out of his room.
Prosecutors say police obtained surveillance footage that shows Fortes entering and leaving the woman’s bedroom three times.
The Barbara McInnis Home provides respite medical care – which is short-term medical and recovery services – “for homeless people who are far too sick to live in shelters but not sick enough to occupy a hospital bed. expensive acute care”.
Later in the same month as the alleged assaults, Fortes was arrested by Dartmouth police on suspicion of breaking into a car on Walsh Street on April 13.
In 2009, Fortes was arrested after Fairhaven police said he stole a car and led them in a westbound chase on Route 6 to cross a barrier on the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge, then jump into water to avoid them. He had apparently headed the same department in a prosecution six years earlier as well.