EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 8, 2012

Alleged rapist back in jail

DNA links Methuen man to 5 more cases


On Oct. 7, 2010, Methuen police Officer Neil Quinlan, who was working the midnight shift, arrested Poirier after the red Grand Am drove past him on Old Ferry Street toward a dead-end part of the street. Quinlan was not familiar with the car, could not see the driver or any occupants or detect any traffic or motor vehicle violations, Feeley wrote in his decision.

Quinlan testified he stopped the car because of the time of night, no area businesses were open and the car registration came back to an elderly woman “outside” of Methuen. “Essentially, Quinlan wanted to know what the vehicle was doing in the area at that time of night,” Feeley wrote.

But, the judge wrote, “Quinlan did not come even close to articulating a possible crime having been committed, being committed, or about to be committed,” Feeley wrote.

The woman who said she was raped on Oct. 10 said she was walking on Howe Street at 5 a.m. when she was forced into a car, driven to a secluded area near the Haverhill line and sexually assaulted. The woman told police there was no handle on the passenger’s door of the car, but that she struggled with Poirier and escaped.

After Poirier was charged with her rape and was arraigned in Lawrence District Court, another woman came forward, telling police Poirier had forced her into his car and sexually attacked her on May 23, 2010. The woman, who lives in the Pleasant Valley Street area, said just after midnight she’d stepped outside her apartment to get some air. A man in a red and white car stopped and asked her for directions.

When she approached his car, the man the victim identified as Poirier allegedly threatened to shoot her with a small handgun he had in the center console of the car. He ordered her into the passenger seat and drove onto Pleasant Valley Street and down Old Ferry Street to an area with brush, trees and open space, she told police.

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