Raul Barrera Sentenced: 25 Years to Life

Raul Barrera following his arrest last year.

There is finally closure in the grisly, violent death of 23-year-old Sarah Coit, who was murdered in her Lower East Side apartment on April 10, 2011. Coit’s 35-year-old boyfriend, Raul Barrera, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder in the second degree in September, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced yesterday.

Coit was stabbed more than 30 times in her head and torso.

“The defendant killed an innocent young woman and changed a family forever,” Vance said in a prepared statement. “This case illustrates the sobering fact that domestic violence can quickly turn fatal, and that the most dangerous time for a victim is when she or he tries to leave a relationship. Shockingly, this murder was one of 92 such ‘family-related homicides’ in New York City in 2011.”

Noting that “far too many domestic violence victims remained trapped in relationships from which they see no escape,” Vance reiterated plans to open Manhattan’s first Family Justice Center next year. The new center will provide services for domestic violence victims in one central location, including civil and criminal legal services, and will tie together services for victims of domestic violence, sex crimes, human trafficking, elder abuse and child abuse.

In 2011 alone, the New York City Police Department responded to nearly 258,000 domestic violence incidents citywide—more than 700 incidents each day—and the DA’s office screened more than 5,600 domestic violence cases, Vance said.