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Former first-season 'Bachelor' candidate accused of multiple rapes

UPI News Service, 11/06/2007 

Prosecutors allege a Boston lawyer who was once in the running to star in ABC's "The Bachelor" is a serial rapist.

Gary Zerola has been charged with rape and attempted rape for two separate incidents involving 19-year-old women in 2004 and 2006, WSVB-TV, Boston, reported Tuesday.

Zerola is also facing charges of drugging and raping an 18-year-old college student in Miami Beach, Fla.

Prosecutor Suzanne Kontz told the court Monday that Zerola took one of the Boston victims shopping and bought her a $700 dress and $250 shoes at Neiman Marcus. She said he then allegedly took the girl back to his apartment and slammed her head against a door. The prosecutor alleged the attorney knocked a phone from the victim's hand while she attempted to dial 911.

"He spent some time grooming these girls," Kontz told The Boston Herald. "He would clearly spend money on them. He would clearly follow up with them."

Zerola, who was named one of People magazine's "Most Eligible Bachelors" in 2003, was considered a candidate for "The Bachelor" during the reality show's first season.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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