Pittsfield man with solid alibi cleared of March rape allegations


PITTSFIELD -- A city man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in March, who had a solid alibi at the time of the crime, has been cleared.

Mark A. Turner, 45, of Lincoln Street, was accused of raping a woman twice inside her First Street residence when he went there to sell her crack cocaine on March 15. But several people -- including the victim's boyfriend -- said police arrested the wrong man.

The suspect in the rape case allegedly went to the woman's house to sell her drugs, told her he wanted to do the deal in the bathroom and then sexually assaulted the woman twice, according to a police report.

The woman's boyfriend arrived there a short time later and found the woman sobbing and shaken, according to the report.

Turner told police he didn't know the woman. He said he had been DJing at a local bar until after 1 a.m. and then went home with several friends and ordered food from a local pizza shop. His alibi witnesses confirmed they were with Turner at the time of the reported rape, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.

At the time of Turner's arraignment in Central Berkshire District Court on two counts of rape, his attorney, Joshua C. Hochberg, said the woman's boyfriend later told police they had arrested the wrong man and that the victim had initially identified a different person from a police photo array.

The woman also told police the rapist was 6 feet, 6 inches tall, while Turner is 5 feet, 8 inches, Hochberg said at the time.

The DA's Office filed paperwork in the case last month indicating that "in the best interests of justice" they would not continue prosecuting the case and dismissed the charges.

Turner had originally been out on $ 2,500 cash or $ 25,000 bail. Before the case was dismissed the DA's Office asked the court to lower the bail to personal recognizance, according to court documents.

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