By Jill Harmacinski
LAWRENCE - Kenneth Poirier, the so-called 'red car rapist' was convicted today of one count of rape and acquitted of a second count of rape.
Poirier, 41, formerly of Merrimac and Pelham, has been on trial in Lawrence Superior Court for the May 23, 2010 rape of a woman in the Old Ferry Road area of Methuen.
He picked the woman up outside a rooming house on South Union Street in Lawrence.
The 42-year-old woman testified that Poirier forced her at gunpoint into his car, drove her to a wooded area of Methuen and raped her after wrapping a seatbelt around her neck.
But earlier today, Poirier, who grew up in Methuen, took the stand in his own defense, saying he assumed the woman was a prostitute and he picked her up in Lawrence after leaving a card game in Methuen earlier in the night.
"I was looking for a companion. Maybe a prostitute," said Poirier.