Rapist Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison For East River Park Attack

Paul Niles

Paul Niles.

A 30-year old man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for brutally raping a female jogger in East River Park two years ago.

The ordeal happened in November of 2015 near the East River Park bandshell. Prosecutors said Paul Niles dragged the victim by her hair from the footpath near Jackson Street into the amphitheater and assaulted her. He then stole the woman’s phone and credit card, and used the credit card to make purchases at a bodega in Brooklyn.

Niles was convicted of first degree rape, second degree robbery, as well as second degree strangulation by a Manhattan jury last month. A judge sentenced him to 40 years, plus 20-years of post-release supervision.

District Attorney Cy Vance said, “This was a brutal stranger assault, and I commend the victim for her bravery in bringing her attacker to justice, as well as the prosecutors and members of law enforcement who worked tirelessly on this case. According to a report on runner safety, more than 40 percent of women have experienced harassment while jogging. Female runners should be able to engage in this activity without fear of being threatened, sexually assaulted, or worse.”

When the attack happened in 2015, local residents complained about poor lighting in East River Park. Although the city installed new lighting as a result, we just heard from a reader today who said the new fixtures are not working. The reader warned, “It’s only a matter of time before something bad happens.” We’ll be looking into the issue.

 

Lower East Side Man Arrested in Molestation of 8-Year-old Girl

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Police have arrested a suspect who they believe molested a little girl at the Seward Park Extension housing complex early last month.

30-year-old Daniel Young was taken into custody yesterday and charged with sexual abuse and “acting in a manner injurious to a child.” He lives on Madison Street and has a police record.

The incident happened at about 7:40 p.m. on June 3 in the courtyard at 64 Essex St., a NYCHA property. Cops say Young approached an 8-year-old girl and began speaking with her before touching her inappropriately. The suspect fled the scene but was captured on videotape. There was a $2500 reward for information about the crime.

Cops Arrest a Suspect in Stanton Street Attempted Rape

Photo: NYPD.

Photo: NYPD.

Police have made an arrest in connection with an attempted rape that occurred last month in an apartment building near Pitt and Stanton streets.

18-year-old Gabriel Bulina of Staten Island was taken into custody yesterday and charged with attempted rape, sexual abuse, forcible touching and sexually motivated burglary.. He was arrested at his apartment after cops received a tip.

On April 23, investigators believe Bulina followed a 24-year-old woman into her building, groped the woman in the elevator and then tried to force his way into her apartment. He fled when a man came to the door.

Police had released video showing the suspect in this crime leaving the Lower East Side building.

(Video) Suspect Wanted in Lower East Side Sexual Assault

NYPD/Security Camera still image.

NYPD/Security Camera still image.

Police have released better security camera footage showing a suspect accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a residential building elevator near Stanton and Pitt streets.

The incident happened this past Saturday at about 3:20 p.m. The victim, 24, said the man followed her into the elevator and began groping her. The woman was slammed against the wall and fondled. The suspect tried to get inside the victim’s apartment, but fled when a man came to the door.

The suspect is described as light-skinned Hispanic between 16-20 years old, 5-foot-2 to 5-foot-4, and 130 pounds. If you can help find this man, call Crime Stoppers  at 1-800-577-TIPS.

 

Police Search For Suspect in Attempted Rape Near Pitt & Stanton Streets

NYPD image.

NYPD image.

Police are looking for a suspect who tried to sexually assault a woman Saturday afternoon near Pitt and Stanton streets.

The victim, 24, said the man followed her into the elevator of a residential building at around 3:30 p.m. The suspect began groping the woman as the elevator opened on her floor. She said he slammed her against the wall, fondled her and then tried to get inside the victim’s apartment. He fled when a man answered the door.

The suspect is described as light-skinned Hispanic between 16-20 years old, 5-foot-2 to 5-foot-4, and 130 pounds. If you can help find this man, call Crime Stoppers  at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Followup: Accused East River Park Rapist Being Held Without Bail

NYPD Photo.

NYPD Photo.

Over the weekend, police took 28-year-old Paul Niles into custody in connection with last Wednesday evening’s rape in East River Park. We reported the arrest on Saturday. Here’s an update.

Saturday at about 6:30 pm., Niles flagged down a police car in Southeastern Queens and turned himself in. He has been charged with first degree rape, two counts of robbery and identity theft. Niles pleaded not guilty. His lawyer said he did not admit to being involved in the incident. Niles is being held without bail. “Prosecutors allege, the Post reported, that “Niles made statements to investigators that alluded to the robbery.”

In the attack, Niles is accused of dragging a 26-year-old woman from the foot bridge near Jackson Street, raping her in the area near the East River bandshell and stealing her credit card and phone. He took off on a bike and used the credit card at a local bodega. Surveillance footage helped cops identify the suspect. Cops say Niles tried to attack another woman in the same area earlier Wednesday. He was scared off when she pretended to call 911.

News reports describe Niles as a homeless man with a police record.  There are active cases in Brooklyn for criminal possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. According to the Daily News, the defendant told police he has been living in a rehab facility and a homeless shelter and is suicidal.  Niles has been placed on suicide watch.  He’s due back in court on the Lower East Side charges on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, high powered lights have been set up in the area around the bandshell and police have stepped up patrols. Residents have long complained about poor security and lighting in the area.

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