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Sex offender bailed for rape is arrested after ‘holding a woman hostage and raping her’ 

A sex offender whose bail on rape charges was paid by the Massachusetts Bail Fund is accused of kidnapping and raping a woman, three weeks after he was released.

Shawn McClinton, 39, was convicted of rape in 1994 and 2007 and sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison. 

He also has a pending rape case in Suffolk Superior Court, in which he is accused of forcing a woman at knife-point to perform oral sex on him in a McDonald’s in 2018.

Released from jail in mid July, he allegedly attacked again on Tuesday, after meeting a woman in Quincy, a suburb of Boston.

The woman went home with him to the neighboring suburb of Dorchester.   

When she tried to leave, she told police, he accused her of being an undercover police officer. He became enraged and started beating her. 

He allegedly strangled her and forced her at knife-point to perform oral sex. 

According to the police report, obtained by the Boston Globe, he threatened her and said: ‘Do you know what I could do to you?’

She lost consciousness. After she woke up, she fled and wandered the streets, where a bystander found her 40 minutes later. 

She had significant cuts and scrapes and bruising around her neck, Michael Glennon, assistant district attorney, told the judge. 

McClinton was arrested and is charged with aggravated rape, kidnapping, strangulation, and assault with a dangerous weapon. 

Massachusetts Bail Fund has not commented on their payment of his $15,000 bail. 

But William Gross, Boston police commissioner, said he was ‘absolutely appalled’ that someone with McClinton’s history would be freed. 

‘We’re getting to a point in society where we’re giving more credence to criminals than victims,’ he said. 

‘We’re talking about violent offenders. Why would you bail someone who committed rapes?’ 

Judge Lisa Grant of Dorchester District Court ordered on Thursday that McClinton be held without bail, describing him as a danger to the community.

‘I find probable cause that Mr McClinton committed a new violent offense, while on release for a violent offense,’ the judge said. 

‘I find there are no conditions that would ensure the safety of the community, particularly females.’ 

The bail fund, whose slogan is ‘Free Them All,’ argues that requiring cash bail for defendants to get out of jail before trial is unfair to the poor, and ineffective at preventing crime.

The paper reported that the COVID-19 pandemic and the killing of George Floyd by police in Minnesota have spurred a massive infusion of donations to bail funds nationally. 

As recently as January, it was posting bails of up to only $500, but in recent weeks the group has paid as much as $85,000 to free a defendant who was accused of shooting someone in broad daylight. This week, it bailed out 30 defendants in Boston, a court official told the paper. 

Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County District Attorney, who has argued for freeing many prisoners, said releasing McClinton was going too far.

The Bail Fund, she said, often posts bail for low level offenders, who remain behind bars unfairly mainly because they’re poor.

‘However, aggravated rape, kidnapping for the purpose of sexual assault, strangulation and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon are not low-level misdemeanors. They are violent felonies,’ Rollins said. 

‘And the person they bailed out is a sexual predator that hurts and rapes women and children. 

‘The Bail Fund posted $15,000 and set McClinton loose on our community.

‘They have no responsibility to or compassion for the victims and survivors of his crimes, or the families that he has destroyed. I do. ‘ 

McClinton’s attorney, Byron Knight, argued that the $15,000 bail should be restored. 

‘It wasn’t a forcible rape, and he denies some of these allegations,’ he said, adding that McClinton doesn’t have a ‘significant number’ of court defaults on his record. 

The judge ordered him held without bail for 60 days, and then on $500,000 cash bail. 

If he makes that bail, she said, she would order him to wear a GPS ankle monitor.

Commissioner Gross said the McClinton case shows the risk of bailing out people who face serious charges. 

He said Bail Fund supporters should think more about the victims of crime.

‘You talk about a violation of constitutional rights? Women aren’t free to walk around because of this predator, and the Bail Fund wants to bail someone like that?’ Gross said. 

‘The Bail Fund folks are not from the inner city. I don’t know who they think they’re helping. 

‘They’ve proved they are a detriment to the community.’

In early July, the Bail Fund put up $85,000 to free Karmau Cotton-Landers, 25, who was accused of shooting someone in broad daylight on Boston Common in early April. 

Other defendants recently freed by the Bail Fund include Walker Browning, accused of robbing five women, two at knife-point; David Privette, facing charges of holding up a gas station at gunpoint; and Otis Walker, who had been held since late 2018 on three counts of child rape. These three were being held on bails ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

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