Ali Ghaffar arrested and charged in connection with rape and assault of at least six women

April 13, 2022 -Springfield- Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “Investigators moved with urgency to identify and stop this alleged serial rapist before he victimized more women. We are asking our partners in the media and the public at large to share the picture we are releasing of the suspect, and ask that if you are a survivor of Ali Ghaffar, please come forward and speak with law enforcement. We want to seek justice for anyone who was victimized and to help those people with services and support.”

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, 413-505-5993, or the West Springfield Police Department, 413-263-3210 ext. 0.

You can also anonymously use Text-a-Tip, by texting the word CRIMES (2-7-4-6-3-7) and type the word SOLVE into the body of the message followed by your tip.

District Attorney Gulluni also stated, “The suspect in this case was preying upon vulnerable women. While his conduct was becoming more frequent and bold, State Police investigators in my office and our local partners marshaled resources over mere hours and conducted an outstanding investigation knowing that women remained at risk. This rapid and formidable deployment occurred to protect the public from further harm. I am very proud and appreciative of all involved.”

“The identified survivors also showed great courage and resiliency in standing up and speaking out. These acts of strength likely prevented other women from suffering harm at the hands of the suspect. We will now fight alongside them for justice in the court system.”

On Thursday, March 24, 2022 at approximately 9:50 PM, Massachusetts State Police Troopers from the Westfield barracks contacted the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office (Hampden SPDU) to report that they located a lone female walking eastbound on the westbound lane of Interstate 90 in West Springfield.  When met by troopers, the female stated that she had just been raped and threatened with a gun by an unknown male assailant.  Troopers on scene called for an ambulance and the survivor was transported to Baystate Medical Center. 

The survivor reported she was looking for a ride in the area of Marble Street in Springfield, when a car, driven by a male in his early twenties, with long hair, and a tan complexation stopped and offered to give her a ride, which she accepted. 

According to the survivor, she entered the car, and they drove towards the north end of Springfield where they entered the highway towards Holyoke, and subsequently traveled to the area of the Bearhole Reservoir in West Springfield. 

At this point, the suspect informed her that he had a gun, and then proceeded to sexually assault her. Following the assault, the survivor was left in the wooded area and the suspect fled in his vehicle. She was eventually found walking on I-90 by Massachusetts State Troopers.

During the course of this investigation, members of the Hampden SPDU learned the West Springfield Police Department has been investigating several similar reported sexual assaults that occurred over the past eight months. In each instance, the survivor was picked up in the City of Springfield and then driven to a remote area of West Springfield where the sexual assaults occurred. The dates of those incidents are as follows:

March 4, 2022, at approximately 10:20 p.m., assault reported in West Springfield, Morgan Road (Bearhole),  

February 26, 2022, at approximately 9:30 p.m., assault reported at West Springfield, Middle School

February 19, 2022, at approximately 9:30 p.m., assault reported in West Springfield, Amostown Rd  (Bearhole)

January 16, 2022, at approximately 12:30 p.m.,  assault reported in West Springfield Amostown Rd (Bearhole)

July 29, 2021, at approximately 12:30 p.m., assault reported in West Springfield, Amostown Rd (Bearhole)

June 11, 2021, at approximately 10:15 p.m., assault reported in West Springfield Amostown Rd (Bearhole)

Since the disclosure of the rape on March 24th, members of Hampden SPDU have worked together with members of Massachusetts State Police High Risk Victims Unit, and Technical Services Unit, West Springfield Police Department, and the Springfield Police Department, to investigate similar reports of abductions, sexual assaults, and attempted sexual assaults originating from the South End of Springfield and perpetrated in West Springfield. 

On Wednesday, March 30, 2022, the West Springfield Police Department received a report of another sexual assault that occurred in the area of the Bearhole Reservoir. The survivor in this incident reported a similar experience as previous survivors. At approximately 7:50 p.m., she entered a car near Main St. and Marble St. in Springfield, and was taken to Morgan Rd. in West Springfield to the Bearhole Reservoir.

The male suspect, whose description was consistent with that of previous survivors raped her and left her at the scene. The survivor made her way down Morgan Road and a resident called for police. 

Detectives were able to identify the suspect’s car that the survivor was traveling in as belonging to Ali Ghaffar, 20, of West Springfield. Through this process, detectives were able to identify another survivor from a reported sexual assault on February 19, 2022, which again originated from the South End of Springfield 

The March 30th and Febuary 19th survivors were able to visually identify Ghaffar as the person who assaulted them.

The following day, on Thursday, March 31, 2022, members of District Attorney Anthony Gulluni’s SAFE Unit, Hampden SPDU, Hampden County Narcotics Taskforce, Massachusetts State Police High Risk Victims Unit, West Springfield Police Department, and Springfield Police began to zero in on Ali Ghaffar. Surveillance teams were deployed and they began trying to locate the suspect.  

At approximately 7:45 p.m., officers observed the suspect’s car in the South End of Springfield while a female was entering the front passenger seat. Again, the suspect’s car traveled to the Bearhole Resevoir in West Springfield, where it came to a stop.  At this time officers approached the car and took Ghaffar into custody. In so doing, the team had stopped another rape before it could happen.

Ali Ghaffar was taken to the West Springfield Police Department and initially charged with the following in relation to assaults on two survivors:

MGL 265/22/B: Aggravated Rape

MGL 265/26/A: Kidnapping

MGL 265/15A/A: Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon

MGL 275/2: Threat to Commit a Crime

MGL 265/24/A: Assault with Intent to Rape

MGL 275/2: Threat to Commit a Crime

Since the arrest of Ali Ghaffar on March 31, 2022, members of Hampden SPDU have worked together with members of Massachusetts State Police High Risk Victims Unit, Massachusetts State Police Technical Services Unit, West Springfield Police Department, and Springfield Police Department to continue their investigation of previous rapes reported to police.

On Saturday, April 2, 2022, a DNA report from the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory indicated that a DNA sample taken from Ghaffar was a match to that of the sample taken from the March 24th survivor. 

Investigators were able to locate and re-interview the March 4th survivor, who reported she had been kidnapped at gun point. As well as the survivor from the June 11th and July 29th assaults, and the survivor from the February 26th assault. Ali Ghaffar has additionally been charged with the following:

MGL 265/22/B: Aggravated Rape

MGL 265/22: Rape

MGL 265/26/A: Kidnapping

MGL 275/2: Threat to Commit a Crime

MGL 265/22/B: Aggravated Rape

MGL 265/26/E: Armed Kidnapping with Sexual Assault

MGL 275/2: Threat to Commit a Crime

MGL 265/15/A: A&B with a Dangerous Weapon

MGL 265/22: Rape

MGL 265/26/A: Kidnapping

MGL 265/22/B: Aggravated Rape

MGL 265/26/A: Kidnapping

MGL 265/15/B: Assault with a Dangerous Weapon

MGL 275/2: Threat to Commit a Crime

The investigation into Ali Ghaffar continues. He is currently held without the right to bail, pending a dangerousness hearing, scheduled for April 21, 2022.  

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