• Suspect charged with alleged sex assault on Esplanade


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – A 49-year-old man arrested during an apparent sexual assault along the Esplanade in Boston was arraigned Monday and held on $100,000 bail, authorities said.

    According to Mass. State Police, two troopers patrolling on foot in the area of the Longfellow Bridge saw the incident unfolding at about 1 a.m. Sunday. The troopers took the suspect, later identified as Joseph Barthel, into custody for indecent assault and battery.

    Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley says troopers saw Barthel lying on top of a homeless woman near the Community Boating dock. As the troopers approached, the woman appeared to be unconscious.

    According to the troopers, Barthel identified the female by the wrong name, berated them, and smelled strongly of alcohol.

    The troopers and responding EMS crews were able to rouse the woman who claimed she and Barthel had been drinking together earlier in the day. She said she allegedly passed out while Barthel was kissing her.

    Barthel, who claimed residence at a Boston shelter but lived in Waltham as recently as February, was allegedly involved in another incident which took place at Long Wharf Park in the early morning hours of Oct. 21, 2012. He was charged with rape, but the charge was withdrawn in January because detectives were unable to locate the victim in time for trial.

    The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office says this incident does not appear to be linked to the well-publicized series of unsolved sexual assaults on the Esplanade, which involve a suspect who does not match Barthel's description.

    Barthel will return to court on Aug. 2.

    An investigation into the Esplanade attacks is ongoing.

    Meanwhile, Massachusetts State Police have implemented a text-a-tip line as part of the security plan for this week's July 3 and 4 events on Boston's Esplanade. The tip line will allow visitors on the Esplanade to report any type of suspicious activity to State Police. It may also be used by any person, regardless of his or her location, reporting suspicious activity connected to or relating to the annual Esplanade event.

    Tipsters should text the word Boston4 and the information about your observation to the number 67283. People reporting a crime or suspicious activity may also call 911 on their cell phones.

    Next Up: