SWAMPSCOTT — Prosecutors have dismissed charges against a Swampscott man accused of raping five women at gunpoint.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's office said it dropped the case against Joseph Losano because of a judge's ruling to suppress critical evidence.

Losano, 53, was accused of picking up women in Boston under the guise of paying for sex, but instead pulled a gun on them and forced them to engage in additional sexual conduct against their will, according to an announcement from the Suffolk District Attorney's office, following Losano's arrest in 2018.

In a motion filed last week, prosecutors said they were dropping the charges because of a judge's ruling to not allow as evidence photo identifications of Losano by three of the victims.

The judge found that the composition of the photo array shown to the victims made Losano's picture stand out "unduly" from the seven 'filler' images in the array, according to the motion. The array was created at the Commonwealth Fusion Center using facial biometrics to generate "fillers" similar to Losano, the document said.

Prosecutors had already conceded suppression of another identification by a fourth victim because a police officer had previously shown that victim a single photograph of Losano. The fifth victim viewed the same photo array and made no identification.

In the motion, prosecutors said they disagreed with the court's decision to suppress the photo identifications but would stand "no reasonable chance" of reversal on appeal. Without the photo identifications, prosecutors said they "cannot prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt at trial."

James Sultan, Losano's attorney, said he applauded the district attorney for dropping the charges, but added, "Unfortunately Mr. Losano's reputation has been destroyed and he has suffered significantly as a result of their unlawful prosecution, and that damage cannot be undone."

In a statement, Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins said the filing to dismiss the charges does not preclude her office from filing charges again in the case.

"The perpetrator of these sex crimes targeted women that he believed society does not value," Rollins said in the statement. "... We will continue to search for this sexual predator and will not stop until he is held accountable."

Losano worked briefly as a substitute teacher in Swampscott and lost a legal fight to become a police officer in town. Sultan said Losano would not comment for this story.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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