Cheshire man charged with multiple counts of lewdness in rail trail incidents


PITTSFIELD — A Cheshire man is facing charges for allegedly exposing himself to women on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, believing they would have sex with him.

Edward A. McConnell, 30, told investigators he'd exposed himself to approximately 10 women, dating back to May 2015, according to court documents.

McConnell allegedly told state police he continued that behavior because he was "trying to get a date," and believed women enjoyed it.

The most recent allegation was reported to police on March 25.

A woman said she was on the trail around noon and saw a male party exposing himself and called 911.

Police spotted a man matching the description given by the witness leaving the trail, who was later identified as McConnell.

McConnell told police he was urinating when the woman saw him.

He was initially arrested in March and charged with one count of open and gross lewdness in connection with that incident after being identified by the alleged victim from a photo array.

In April, a former girlfriend of McConnell's told Cheshire Police he'd contacted her and confessed that he was the person described in an October 2015 Eagle article as having accosted a woman on the trail.

McConnell allegedly told her he'd lied to police about urinating on the trail and had exposed himself, "many times," and believed women enjoyed it and he felt "liberated" by doing it.

The physical description of McConnell given by the woman was consistent with the descriptions given by the women to whom he allegedly exposed himself.

On May 7, McConnell allegedly texted his former girlfriend with a message reading, "If the cops ask you any questions about me or in general, you don't have to answer them, so don't."

"Anything you say can incriminate me more than I already am," McConnell allegedly texted in another message.

Specifically, McConnell is accused of exposing himself on five occasions prior to the March incident between May 26 and October 20, 2015.

In a September 2015 incident, he allegedly told the woman, "have a good night," as she ran away and, on October 20, 2105, tried to grab a woman as she ran past him while he was exposed.

He was arrested at his home by state police about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

He told police he believed six of the approximately 10 women to whom he exposed himself saw him, based on their reactions.

McConnell pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Thursday on five counts of open and gross lewdness and one count of intimidation of a witness.

Judge William Rota released him on personal recognizance with the conditions he have no contact with any of the alleged victims and stays away from the rail trail.

McConnell is due back in court on June 3 for a pretrial hearing.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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