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NYC man gets 18 years in college essay rape case

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A man convicted of raping his former stepdaughter in an attack she disclosed years later in a college application essay was sentenced Monday to 18 years in prison.

The 62-year-old man, balding with a bushy gray beard, entered the Brooklyn courtroom carrying a Bible. He swayed slightly as he heard his sentence.

The Associated Press is withholding the man's name because disclosing it could identify his accuser. The AP generally does not identify victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly.

The man repeatedly raped his then-stepdaughter in 2003, according to a court complaint. She was only 8 years old at the time and kept the abuse secret from her family for nearly a decade until penning an essay to apply to a Florida religious college, prosecutors said. She'd been asked to write about what made her who she is.

"My home life has always been something interesting," began the 2012 piece, which was aired at the ex-stepfather's recent trial.

The former stepdaughter wasn't in court Monday, but Assistant District Attorney Anna Krutaya read a statement from the woman.

"Getting closure and justice on this horrible situation" has been the best that could come from it," she said in the statement. She added that after testifying, "I felt like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders."

"I feel a lot happier than before," she wrote. "I will not forget what happened, but I will move on from it."

The man declined to speak, but his lawyer, Ernest Hammer, noted that he plans to appeal.

"He denies he committed the crime," Hammer said, calling the case "a difficult matter and a very, very unattractive one."

He said his client has been jailed since his conviction and has endured verbal and physical abuse from fellow inmates and is now being held in protective custody.

The essay also described how the woman's churchgoing childhood was upended after her mother embarked on a marriage that "changed my life forever."

While her ex-stepfather seemed all right at first, "toward the end of the marriage he began to rape me," his accuser wrote.

At the time, "I never told anyone ... at that point in my life, I was scared," she added.

Her mother, by then divorced and remarried, read the essay and called police, prosecutors said.

Hammer has suggested that the mother was trying to get back at her former husband and that the student was bidding for sympathy to get into college.

"It's her best effort to try to get the attention of the admissions committee of that college," Hammer said in closing arguments earlier this month.

A jury convicted his client of rape and other charges.

His former stepdaughter, who had moved to Florida with her mother before writing the essay, rejoiced in her mother's new marriage and recommitted to her faith, according to her essay.

"All I have been through has made me the person I am today," she concluded.

Join the discussion

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Judith July 07 2014 at 2:09 PM

Really? A man was convicted of rape with no evidence whatsoever except a college student's word? Is this what the legal system has become? Unless there is a helluva lot more to this story that we don't know about (such as he confessed, for instance) and actual evidence to prove the girl's story then, IMO, this is one conviction that will be overturned on appeal. And when it is overturned, although I don't believe in frivolous lawsuits, I think this man has a very good case for filing one against the girl, his ex-wife, the police for false arrest, etc.

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12 replies
Wayne July 07 2014 at 2:07 PM

Hate your step-dad? Just claim rape. The law doesn't have to prove it and Step dad can go to prison just because he told you NO about something 14 years ago.

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5 replies
magus47 July 07 2014 at 3:18 PM

So let's see. The 'rape' occured ten years ago. There is NO evidence. There are NO witnesses, except the word of the accuser. Now I am NOT defending the man, nor the act of rape, but where is the LAW? Have we sunk to the level of Egyptan courts and throw people in jail based on a pointed finger?
But of course the girl can't LIE. Maybe she believe this really happened. I DON'T KNOW and without some evidence, it is criminal to put a man in jail based on an accusation.

Maybe the jury should have read about the Salem witch trials. People were PUT TO DEATH based upon accusations.

One would like to believe America has progressed since then.

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3 replies
keslb July 07 2014 at 5:12 PM

If i were on the jury there is no way i could convict. I remember too many stories. One invloved a gym teacher who was accused by a pair of high school girls of rape. He lost his job, his wife and everything. Guess what? The girls later siad they made it all up ! They convicted this guy with zero evidence . The girls?? Nothing was done to them for ruining this mans life---they were minors after all. OMG ! Totally ridiculous. IMO !

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4 replies
fwlrcj July 07 2014 at 4:06 PM

You know I hate to think she wrote it to get attention and especially because she hated him. But that seems to be the trend today, don't like someone and want them out of your life, lie

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Mike July 07 2014 at 2:19 PM

So she now dedicates her life to a god who let her be raped at 8 years old? Twisted!

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1 reply
onionson Mike July 07 2014 at 2:36 PM

The Bible says there are many Gods. She is not dedicating her life to the God that might have had a hand in the rape silly boy. Her God did not let her get raped anymore than her God lets a child die in a hot car. Like our world, the spiritual world is a complicated place and IF the spiritual world exists THEN you should learn more about it before you speak or you might be helping the wrong entity.

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4 replies
lynettemosley July 07 2014 at 3:30 PM

Add a comment...I don't think this person made up this story and I hope while he's in jail somebody beats, Rape, Smothers the truth out of him. And as for these people who don't believe this is true look into your own family and you will find out people who you thought you love and they love you did terrible things to your children and you don't find out till later on in life cause they didn;t want to tell....OFF WITH HIS HEAD

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npaleorelic July 07 2014 at 5:00 PM

Whoa...the most flimsy of evidence there is....one word against another with no other type of evidence or proof thereof. This is chilling if only someone has to claim you did without having to prove it beyond any doubt

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spydrworks1067 July 07 2014 at 6:52 PM

There has got to be more than an essay to convict someone on any crime, let alone rape. I'm surprised this made it past the DA.

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dan.brady2 July 07 2014 at 2:09 PM

Wow!! The stuff this poor girl had to endure at such a young age. I hope this guy gets it ten times over in prison!!!!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
lynettemosley dan.brady2 July 07 2014 at 3:31 PM


Flag Reply 0 rate up
Doctor Michael dan.brady2 July 11 2014 at 1:09 PM

IF he indeed did rape her.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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