Earlier this week a customer at Sidelines in Salem was caught on camera burning money in front of a server because he was upset about the bill.
What a d-bag. It’s hard enough for businesses and servers to deal with 7 months of suppression by the government in the form of lockdowns, and this baller for real burned money in front of a hard working woman who was probably furloughed and works for tips, just to let her know that he couldn’t care less about her problems. He’s so well off he can afford to just destroy cash.
Multiple sources are reporting that this Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Gary Zerola.
I called his office to confirm but have not heard back. While speaking with his secretary I informed her that I am from the media and identified the outlet as Turtleboy. She asked me to spell “Turtleboy,” and I told her it was the animal turtle and boy. She then asked me to spell turtle, I refused, and she hung up on me after receiving my call back information. I’ve yet to hear back.
If the name Gary Zerola sounds familiar it’s because he was once named to People magazine’s list of America’s “Most Eligible Bachelors.” But if you don’t read People Magazine, you may remember him more for being the attorney who’s been charged with rape on four separate occasions.
His most recent charge was from 2016, but there is no media outlets who have published how that was resolved. Boston Magazine did an extensive story about his legal problems a decade ago. Here are some excerpts.
Zerola’s legal problems began February 27, according to court documents, when he met a 19-year-old woman at the Boston nightclub Light. Zerola got behind the bar himself to pour the woman a Long Island iced tea, and after last call she and a few friends headed with him to his apartment on Joy Street. Around 3 a.m. one friend left (the police report is vague as to whether the other friends did, too), but the woman was tired, and Zerola offered her the downstairs bedroom. The woman fell asleep fully clothed, only, she claims, to be awoken by Zerola. “I just want to play,” she says he told her, according to a memorandum filed in court by prosecutors. After she told him no, he allegedly repeated his entreaty: “I just want to play. I just want to play. ” He then allegedly raped her.
According to the prosecutor’s account, after the alleged attack the woman left Zerola’s apartment, told a friend, and then called the friend’s mother, who drove her to a Salem hospital where doctors performed a rape examination. There, police questioned the woman. A few days later, she received a voice message from Zerola that said, in part, “I have some things going on in my life that we need to talk about.” Prosecutors also claim Zerola and his friends harassed the woman in the following days, with one of Zerola’s friends allegedly stopping by her house and asking her to “settle” the matter out of court. For the time being, she decided against filing charges.
This month Zerola will stand trial in Suffolk Superior Court on a second set of sexual assault charges. There is a third accusation of sexual assault, in Miami, which is scheduled to go to trial in May. What the accusers have in common is that all are very young, 18 or 19 at the time they met him, and say Zerola first wooed them at clubs. Boston magazine has found reference in court documents to prosecutors’ allegations of a fourth incident, involving a young woman who claims her friends had to whisk her away from Zerola after he allegedly drugged her, though no charges were ever brought.
Zerola did his best to keep up appearances despite his tax burdens. He bought a Porsche in the spring of 2006 and continued partying on the weekends. It was this profligacy that brought him to the attention of another young woman.
She, like the first, was 19. They spent the afternoon of August 17, 2006, shopping on Newbury Street, Zerola buying her a $450 Dolce & Gabbana leopard-print dress and $200 shoes. Later, driving back from her parents’ house in Newton, where the woman had retrieved some makeup, they passed a fender-bender on Route 9. The woman says Zerola yelled out the Porsche’s window, “Do you need a lawyer?”
That evening at Zerola’s condo, the woman met his acquaintance Jesse Bumbaca. According to Bumbaca’s later testimony, at one point, while the woman was in the bathroom, Zerola told him, “I’m going to bang this girl.” (Zerola denied the allegation during the January trial.) The couple then visited two nightclubs, Saint and Mantra; Zerola snorted cocaine and swallowed Vicodins throughout the night, according to the prosecution. (Zerola denied the charge.) The woman did drugs as well.
Early the next morning, they returned to Zerola’s place, where he allegedly asked the woman to “take another Vic.” She grew nervous. According to her account, Zerola then got on top of her, held down her arms, ripped off her dress, and slammed her head into a wall. She ran into the hallway naked but he caught up with her, covered her mouth, and dragged her back inside. As the alleged assault continued, Zerola said, “I just want to play,” according to the prosecution. The woman alleges he let her go when he noticed blue lights flashing outside his window.
“He said, ‘I’ll take you home now,’ and told me to put on the dress,” the woman testified. Some time later she ran into Zerola at a club, according to prosecutors. Touching her arm, he said he was “so sorry” for what happened, she alleges.
On November 21, 2006, Zerola was indicted for two sexual assaults: the one from that August, and the alleged 2004 incident. He posted the $50,000 bail and was awaiting trial last October when he decided to go to the Patriots-Dolphins game in Miami, in violation of the conditions of his release. There he met an 18-year-old Florida International University student at Club Mansion in South Beach, according to police reports later filed in court. They drank and then headed off to a room at the nearby Catalina Hotel, where Zerola allegedly “held her face with his hands and forced her to take an unknown amount of pills with an unknown liquid.” She passed out, and when she woke up, according to police reports, “she felt pain all over her body.” Zerola was still with her, trying to persuade her not to leave. She managed to put on a robe, grab her cell phone, and escape. The woman called a friend on campus, who then called police. “I never had sex with her,” Zerola reportedly said when the officers arrived.
Significant weaknesses exist in the remaining cases against Zerola. In the trial scheduled for April 7, the court will hear from the defense that the accuser in the 2004 incident took a shower after the alleged attack and did not get a rape examination until 12 hours later, and that the exam found scarce evidence of sexual assault. Should the Miami case reach trial, prosecutors must contend with an alleged victim who is unable to remember anything from the incident. (One of the charges from that night has already been dropped due to her wavering account, according to Zerola’s legal team.)
In fairness, he has never been convicted of raping anyone. Just charged four times with similar stories involving drugs, alcohol, arrogance, and a display of wealth, which is perfectly normal. People still hire him when they’re charged with serious crimes, possibly because he’s got a lot of personal experience in that department.
But one thing is for sure – the person in that video burning money clearly gets off on demeaning attractive women (seems to be a pre-requisite to work at Sidelines), flaunting his wealth, and being as offensive as possible. All of which are characteristics Gary Zerola has been known to possess, and he looks very much like him. Nevertheless, we are open to hear both his and her side of the story if they would like to reach out at [email protected], or message Clarence Woods Emerson on Facebook.
Please consider supporting local journalism by donating to the Turtle fund:
Hello Turtle Riders. As you know if you follow Turtleboy we are constantly getting censored and banned by Facebook for what are clearly not violations of their terms of service. Twitter has done the same, and trolls mass reported our blog to Google AdSense thousands of times, leading to demonitization. We can get by and survive, but we could really use your help. Please consider donating by hitting the PayPal button above if you’d like support free speech and what we do in the face of Silicon Valley censorship. Or just buy our award winning book about the dangers of censorship and rise of Turtleboy: