SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 15, 2014

Serial rapist held in attack

Suspect reconnected with former schoolmate on dating website

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — PEABODY — When she encountered Mark Papamechail, 52, on the dating website Plenty of Fish, the woman thought she was reconnecting with an old acquaintance from junior high school.

Over the next two months, the two reminisced, caught up online and eventually planned a lunch date.

What Papamechail, of 4 Stevens St., Peabody, never told her was that he is a convicted serial rapist and registered Level 2 sex offender.

Now Papamechail is being held on $125,000 cash bail, charged with two counts of aggravated rape and a charge of rape, subsequent offense, after he allegedly sexually assaulted the woman in his Peabody apartment last week. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday in Peabody District Court.

The incident occurred on the afternoon of March 5, police said.

The woman told police she went to meet Papamechail at a downtown Peabody restaurant. During that lunch, he told her that he wanted to date her, and he invited her to his apartment to watch a movie.

Because the two had so many mutual acquaintances and she knew members of his family, she agreed, she told police.

But once inside Papamechail’s apartment, which, she recalled, had a purple door, he grabbed her by the hair and threw her onto a bed.

The woman recalled that he referred to “the king-sized bed for the king,” and as the muscular, 6-foot-2, 265-pound Papamechail held her down and sexually assaulted her, he repeatedly told her, “You know you want it,” she told police.

Afterward, Papamechail asked if he could see her again, the woman told police.

The woman has since obtained a restraining order against him.

The woman told police that she recalled Papamechail telling her that he had also used the dating website Match but had been kicked off. She did not know why.

It turns out that Papamechail has a long record of sexual assault charges and convictions, starting with a 1985 case in which he was convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child in Haverhill. In 1987, he was charged with and later convicted of raping a female acquaintance in his apartment, according to court records and an account of his cases in The Salem News in 1997.

He was convicted again in 1991 on two rape counts, and in 1994 on two more rape counts.

Court records show he has served prison time, including a four-year term. As a subsequent offender, he now faces life in prison if convicted.

In addition, Peabody District Court Judge James Barretto noted, there were prior allegations that were dropped and dismissed. He cited this as among his reasons for setting high bail.

If Papamechail makes bail, he will be required to wear a GPS bracelet that tracks his whereabouts.

Papamechail also has been the subject of prior restraining orders, the judge noted.

According to a Salem News report on the implementation of the state’s sex offender registry law, Papamechail was initially classified as a Level 3 offender back in 1997. Level 3 offenders are considered most likely to offend again.

It is not clear when he was reclassified as a Level 2 offender.

The law was recently changed in Massachusetts to provide for the public release of names and photos of Level 2 sex offenders, but the change in the law did not include offenders classified before July 2013.

Ethan Forman contributed to this report.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.