Somerville rape attack committed in 2004 brings man prison sentence up to 15 years

Christopher Carney, once known in local music scene, pleads guilty

Christopher Carney
Carney

Tracked down by DNA evidence, an Austin, Texas, man returned to Massachusetts to answer to charges of a violent rape pleaded guilty Thursday. He was sentenced by Judge Laurence Pierce to 12 to 15 years in State Prison, with five years of probation to run from and after the committed sentence.

In addition, Christopher Carney, 43, was given conditions of probation including that he undergo a mental health evaluation, sex offender evaluation and be on a GPS monitoring device and abide by Sex Offender Registry Board registration requirements.

In charges dating back to June 2004, Carney is accused of following a woman as she was walking home in Somerville, then attacking her – holding a knife to her throat and ordering her into a parking lot, where he handcuffed her to a Dumpster and sexually assaulted her. Afterward, he tried to threaten her into staying silent about the attack, police said.

Instead, the crime was reported and DNA collected.

The formal charges to which he pleaded guilty were aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, two counts of indecent assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and witness intimidation.

Carney was once well known in the local hardcore music scene and a common visitor to night spots such The Middle East in Central Square and The Model Cafe in Allston, as well as often found hanging out at The Pit in Harvard Square, said Roger Nicholson, an acquaintance until Carney moved from Somerville to Austin.

“Maybe that’s why he moved, he was trying to get away,” Nicholson said.

Even before he left, and long before learning of his arrest in Austin, people were unsettled by Carney, Nicholson said.

Carney was working as a pedicab driver when in December 2008, then 37, he was arrested near the University of Texas at Austin campus looking into a window and masturbating, according to Texas media reports. While under arrest, he surrendered his phone, and a search of it turned up hundreds of videos, including one in which he was masturbating in the children’s section of a bookstore while watching a young girl. After briefly being considered a fugitive, he was found by police, charged and eventually sentenced to a seven-year term.

The DNA evidence caught up to Carney while he was in prison, officials said, and Somerville deputies went to Texas to pick him up upon his release for a Jan. 12, 2016, arraignment in Woburn District Court.

“He came straight from incarceration,” said Carney’s lawyer, Robert J. Wheeler Jr. of Boston.

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