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Lawyer/”Escort” Assaulted in Rhode Island; John called her from a Want Ad in a paper

PROVIDENCE –– A Massachusetts lawyer moonlighting as an escort told the police that a man who called her for an appointment attacked her at knife point and tried to rob her.

Providence police Maj. Thomas Oates III said that William V. Lapierre had contacted the woman through an advertisement for escorts in the adult section of the Providence Phoenix newspaper. According to the account the woman gave detectives, the encounter in the early hours of Sunday, April 26, became a fight for her life.

Nina C. Baccala, 36, of North Providence, told the police that Lapierre invited her into his first-floor apartment at 18 Barrows St. before 2:30 a.m. and offered to get her a drink, according to Oates and a police report. Instead, Lapierre returned from the kitchen with a large knife, according to a police report.

Baccala said that Lapierre told her: “I’m not going to give you money. You’re gonna give me your money.”

Baccala told the police that Lapierre held the knife to her throat and threw her on the couch, according to the police report. Baccala sprayed Lapierre in the face with a chemical spray and fought him off when he tried to stab her, according to the police report. She fled outside and called the police.

While the police were frisking Lapierre, he told the officers that he’d just been in an altercation with a woman. The officers seized a knife with an eight-inch blade from Lapierre’s kitchen.

Lapierre was charged with April 27 a felony count of assault with intent to rob. He is being held at the Adult Correctional Institutions in lieu of $100,000 bail with surety.

Lapierre, 40, has a criminal record dating back more than 20 years. His record shows convictions for drug possession and assaults, including attacking a past girlfriend and pointing a gun at three women whom he thought were talking too long on a payphone.

Baccala, who graduated cum laude from New England School of Law, in Boston, was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in December. She is awaiting the results of the bar exam she took in Rhode Island in February. A Bryant University graduate with an MBA degree, Baccala is also listed as the president of BCN Enterprises LLC, a business that she incorporated in 2003 as a “dating service.” Her business is recorded at the secretary of state’s office as providing “assorted gifts, merchandise, personal services,” and she listed it as “telephone sales” on her 2008 application to the Rhode Island bar.

Assistant Attorney General Stacey Pires Veroni contacted The Journal on Friday and said that Baccala wanted to recant her allegation because of “press involvement” and urged the newspaper not to identify Baccala as the victim. “I’m going to have difficulty with my case, or no case at all,” Veroni said.

In an interview with The Journal, Baccala vehemently objected to having her name published and said that to avoid publicity she was going to tell the police she made up the attack. The publicity “will ruin my entire life,” she said.

The alleged robbery bears resemblance to the cases, where a Boston University medical student is accused of robbing women who advertised services. On Monday, the Warwick police said they had an arrest warrant for Philip Markoff, 23, on four charges for allegedly attempting to rob at gunpoint an exotic dancer staying in a hotel by T.F. Green airport.

Despite Baccala’s insistence that she was recanting, “We believe it happened,” Providence Police Capt. James Desmarais said late last week. “Upon reviewing everything in this case, the case is still proceeding forward.”


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