Friday, May 24, 2024
Christopher Carney


A man returned to Massachusetts to face rape charges came straight from a seven-year prison term for public indecency with a child and improper photography – recording women without their knowledge.

Christopher Carney, 43, of Austin, Texas, was brought to Massachusetts and arraigned last week, ordered held without bail until a dangerousness hearing expected to take place Jan. 28, according to the office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.

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 to staying silent about the attack, police said.

Instead, the crime was reported and DNA collected.

Meanwhile, Carney – 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, a former acquaintance – 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 book store 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 arraignment in Woburn District Court.

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

Carney is charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery, as well as one count each of aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and witness intimidation.