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Authorities searching for man accused of raping 2 workers at gunpoint inside Framingham store

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Authorities on Tuesday released the name of a man wanted in connection with an investigation into the gunpoint rape of two women at a department store in Framingham in 1989.

Stephen Paul Gale, 71, is wanted on charges including four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of kidnapping, and one count of armed robbery, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Framingham Police Chief Lester Baker.

Gale entered the Hit or Miss store on Route 9 on the morning of Dec. 27, 1989, displayed a .357 magnum, and forced two female employees to the back of the store at gunpoint, Ryan and Baker said. He then allegedly ordered one victim to empty money from a locked safe and the second to lock the doors to the store before sexually assaulting them while holding the firearm to their heads.

Evidence collected at the scene ultimately helped investigators obtain Gale’s DNA.

A DNA profile was developed for the suspect and uploaded to the Combined DNA Index System in 2001 but there were never any hits identifying the suspect. In 2022, Middlesex prosecutors and the Framingham police contracted with Parabon Nanolabs to conduct an investigative genetic genealogy to develop new leads that could help identify the suspect.

Investigators developed probable cause to identify Stephen Paul Gale and issue an arrest warrant after assessing the results provided Parabon Nanolabs and additional DNA sampling of his family members, according to Ryan and Baker.

“When I started our Cold Case Unit in 2019 I made a commitment to pursuing all available options to provide answers for victims. I am grateful for the efforts made so far to locate Mr. Gale and I hope that by raising the profile of this case across the country, we will locate him so that he can be held accountable for his alleged actions,” Ryan said at a news conference..

“I’d like to acknowledge the victims for their bravery. Without their ongoing help and courage, we would never have been able to finally have a break in this horrific crime,” Baker added. “This crime has haunted the Framingham community for decades, but none of us ever gave up hope or forgot about them.”

Boston 25 Reporter Bob Ward spoke with both the Framingham victims, who did not want to be identified, about the relief these new details bring to the case.

“None of this has ever left our lives. This has always been a part of us. And it is time that this guy gets brought to justice and taken off the streets,” said Victim 2.

The U.S. Marshals Service is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to Gale’s arrest. This reward will be processed immediately upon arrest and not upon conviction.

Gale has been known to use the aliases Stephen Pisarcik, John Rossi, Paul Costa, Paul DeRosa, Paul DiCarli, Paul Joseph DeCarlo, Steve Miner, Paul Williams, and Paul Ptaszynski. He is last known to be living in Los Angeles, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada. He also may have ties to Phoenix, Arizona, Texas, Utah, and Florida.

“It’s a relief and it opens a new door in our case. A little frustrating that he’s hard to locate, but understandably so, with all the aliases that he’s used and traveling around the country,” said Victim 1.

Gale previously has been identified as having ties to organized crime. He is described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall, and about 200 pounds.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the Framingham Police Department at 508-532-5923. Tips can also be called into the U.S. Marshals Boston Tipline at 1-877-WANTED2 (926-8332) or by using the USMS Tips App.

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