LOWELL -- Prosecutors have increased the number of charges against a 19-year-old former Dracut High School football star who is accused of stalking five women as they left a Dracut gym, and attempting to sexually assault one outside her Lowell home.
When Bryant Tuff was arrested in February, he was initially charged in Lowell District Court with assault with intent to rape and assault and battery for allegedly assaulting a woman in her 20s outside her Ennell Street home in Lowell on Feb. 26.
At his Lowell Superior Court arraignment June 13, Tuff's bail was set at $50,000 cash after he pleaded not guilty to: assault to rape (three counts); indecent assault and battery on someone over 14; assault and battery (two counts); and annoying and accosting a person of the opposite sex (five counts).
If he posts bail, Tuff will be under house arrest and must wear a GPS-monitoring device.
Prosecutor Suzanne Kontz alleges in court documents the following:
* On Feb. 26, Victim A was driving home from a Dracut gym when she parked her car on the street near her house. As she sat in her car using her phone, she observed a male walk by her car. Out of caution, she waited until the male was out of sight, then got out of her car and started walking across the street to her residence.
The male ran up behind her, grabbed her, threw her to the ground, and grabbed her gym pants and underwear and pulled them down. As Victim A started fighting her attacker, he grabbed her by the ankles and started dragging her across the street.
During the subsequent police investigation, a number of previously reported attempted sexual assaults were discovered with similar facts. All of them occurred over the span of several months and within a several-mile radius. All of them occurred with women who were either coming from the Dracut gym or wearing gym clothing when they were attacked.
* On Nov. 22, Victim B was walking from her car to her friend's residence on the street where the defendant lives. A male ran up behind her and picked her up off her feet, dropping her to the ground, then put his hands underneath her gym pants attempting to pull them down. Victim B started fighting with the male, and, after forcibly grabbing her buttocks, the male fled. Victim B described the male as wearing black pants, a black hoodie, and a bandana covering the lower portion of his face.
* On Feb. 2, Victim C exited her car and was walking into her apartment complex when a male ran up behind her, pushed her down to the wall, reached inside the waistband of her gym pants and attempted to pull them down. Victim C struggled with the male, and screamed for the neighbors, causing the male to flee. Victim C described the male as dressed in black and wearing a ski mask.
* On Feb. 25, Victim D realized she was being followed by a male in a Volkswagen who was wearing a ski mask. She drove around and believed that she had lost the person following her. She parked in her driveway, then realized the male had followed her and was walking up her driveway, still wearing the ski mask. Victim D started honking her horn to alert her boyfriend and the male fled. Victim D described the male wearing the mask with dark clothing.
* On March 5, Victim E reported a male sitting in a vehicle outside her gym watching her work out. She moved and the male continued to watch her. The male was then observed to put on a black ski mask. When Victim E attempted to leave the gym, the male attempted to follow in his vehicle but Victim E was able to evade him.
The suspect's license plate was obtained and came back to a car rented by Tuff's relative, but was a car he was known to drive. Tuff was positively identified by a member at the gym as being the person in the ski mask in the parking lot.
Subsequently, during a photo array, Victim A positively identified Tuff as her attacker.
When Tuff was arrested, he allegedly had a ski mask in his backpack. People from all incidents positively identified the ski mask as being the type that was worn by the suspect.
The vehicles involved in the Feb. 25, Feb. 26 and March 5 incidents were linked to Tuff.
But at a dangerousness hearing where the Feb. 26 incident was the focus, several of Tuff's family members testified he was at home all night playing video games with his brother and never left the house.
Tuff is scheduled for a July 14 pretrial conference.
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