Officials identify man wanted in connection with 1989 robbery, rape at Framingham store – Boston News, Weather, Sports

FRAMINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) – Officials on Tuesday publicly identified a man wanted in connection with a 1989 robbery and rape of two women at a store in Framingham.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced the information at a press conference in Woburn. Flanked by local and federal law enforcement officials, she appealed to the public for help finding the now 71-year-old suspect.

The incident happened on Dec. 27, 1989 at Hit or Miss, a women’s clothing store off Route 9.

Ryan said the two female victims, aged 18 and 29, were employees of Hit or Miss working to open the store when a man identified as Stephen Paul Gale entered. Ryan said Gale approached the women and asked for help selecting an outfit. Gale showed the employees a gun, according to Ryan, and forced both women into the back of the store.

After a conversation, Ryan said, Gale forced the 29-year-old woman, who was working as a manager in the store, to empty money from a locked safe, a cash register and her purse. Ryan said Gale then took the 18-year-old woman to the front of the store and forced her to place a handwritten note on the door explaining that the store would be opening late.

After locking the door, Ryan said, Gale demanded both women remove their clothing, took them into the back of the store and placed them in separate rooms.

Ryan said Gale sexually assaulted the women before they managed to flee through a fire door and seek help at a nearby home.

Ryan said both women described Gale’s appearance. Though investigators also collected forensic evidence and developed a DNA profile, authorities were unable to identify Gale, according to Ryan.

Investigators made a breakthrough after the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and the Framingham Police Department contracted with a lab to develop new leads in 2022.

The DA’s office in a statement said investigators obtained DNA samples from Gale’s family and compared profiles to samples collected after the 1989 incident, ultimately helping authorities secure an arrest warrant.

“We are always looking and thinking about new ways to use evidence,” Ryan said.

Now with an arrest warrant in hand, Ryan said authorities plan to share their description of Gale nationwide.

Ryan said Gale is charged with four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of kidnapping and one count of armed robbery.

Gale is described as standing 5’11”, weighing about 200 pounds. Officials said he has gone by several aliases including Stephen Pisarcik, John Rossi, Paul Costa, Paul DeRosa, Paul DiCarli, Paul Joseph DeCarlo, Steve Miner, Paul Williams, and Paul Ptaszynski. He is known to have lived in cities including Los Angeles and Las Vegas and may have ties to Phoenix, Arizona, as well as cities in Texas, Utah and Florida, according to the DA’s office.

“I think it would be fair to say it is always bittersweet,” Ryan said of recent conversations with the victims. “You are obviously going back to something that was almost a lifetime ago.”

“I think the reaction today when we spoke to both women was just gratitude for the type of investigative work that has been done,” she said. “And also, obviously, a hope that this is the first step.”

Years after the incident at Hit or Miss, Ryan emphasized her office’s commitment to continue pursuing cold cases.

“We do not forget what people came into this county and did,” she said.

Framingham Police Chief Lester Baker on Tuesday commended the “courage and strength” of the two women who were attacked back in 1989 and noted the efforts of local, state and federal agencies involved in this investigation.

Among other remarks, the US Marshals Service announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to Gale’s apprehension.

Authorities released a police sketch of Gale, his 1995 driver’s license photo and an age progression photo developed by the FBI in hopes of helping locate Gale.

Beyond the Framingham incident, officials said they also want to question Gale about a number of other rapes that happened in 1989 and 1990 in the greater Boston area.

Officials have asked that any person with information regarding Gale’s location contact the Framingham Police Department at 508-532-5923. Individuals can also call in tips to the U.S. Marshals Boston Tipline at 1-877-WANTED2 (926-8332) or submit tips using the USMS Tips App.

This is adeveloping story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.

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