Thursday, March 12, 2009

Man Sentenced for Richmond Hill Rape

Arrested after DNA Cold Hit

A Queens man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for raping a woman who was staying at friend’s Richmond Hill home.

Antonio Ortiz, 42, of 8502 Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Far Rockaway, was convicted following a jury trial in January of two counts of predatory sexual assault and one count each of first-degree rape, criminal sexual act, burglary and attempted rape. He was labeled by the court as a persistent violent felony offender and sentenced to five concurrent sentences of 25 years to life in prison.

According to trial testimony, Ortiz entered the Richmond Hill home at 3:30 a.m. on August 24, 2006. The 37-year-old victim, asleep in a second-floor bedroom, awoke to see the defendant, who was holding a knife and claimed to be a police officer. When she tried to flee, the defendant pushed her back on the bed and forcibly raped her. He then robbed her and the homeowner of money, gold jewelry and other items before fleeing.

A drop of blood recovered from a kitchen window ledge where Ortiz entered the house matched his DNA profile, which had previously been entered into the national DNA databank following his conviction in a Brooklyn burglary. This marks the first conviction in Queens County under the newly enacted predatory sexual assault statute which enhances penalties for offenders who commit a violent sex crime while armed with a dangerous weapon.

“A drop of blood found at the crime scene was key to identifying the defendant, once again underscoring the importance of a DNA databank,” said District Attorney Richard Brown. “This defendant is a violent predicate felon with prior convictions for both burglary and sexual assault. A life sentence is justified and necessary to protect the law-abiding members of our society from this violent behavior.”

The investigation was conducted by the NYPD’s Queens Special Victims Squad with assistance from the 102nd Precinct. Antonio Ortiz

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