Three teens who escaped from a halfway home in Brooklyn have been indicted on rape charges in connection with a brutal attack on a woman last month in an Eldridge Street building stairwell.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance yesterday announced the indictments against Sanat Asliev, 17, Emanuel Burrowes, 16, and Erik Pek, 16. The case was brought before a New York grand jury.
According to court papers, the teenagers met their victim, a 33-year-old woman, in an internet cafe at 75 Eldridge St. shortly before 4 a.m. on June 1. The D.A. described the woman as being “barely conscious” when the suspects began touching her. She reportedly tried to push them away. More details from the press release distributed by the D.A.’s office yesterday:
The defendants then took the victim out of the café and into the stairwell of a nearby apartment building at 54 Eldridge Street. There, the defendants removed the victim’s clothing, beat her, and violently raped her. In addition to sexually assaulting her, the defendants stole the victim’s personal belongings – including her cell phone, keys, identification, credit cards, and cash – before leaving her in the stairwell. They later used the stolen keys to enter her Meatpacking District apartment building. After the attack, the victim left the stairwell of 54 Eldridge Street and sought help. She was taken to a hospital for treatment. Members of the NYPD’s Manhattan Special Victims Squad apprehended the defendants in Brooklyn the next day.
The teens all face the same charges: first degree rape, first degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony and burglary and robbery. In a statement, Vance said:
This is a shocking case in which three young men are charged with not only brutally raping a vulnerable woman, but also stealing her belongings and breaking into her apartment building in an attempt to further victimize her… I commend this woman for the bravery she exhibited following this horrific attack, as well as members of the NYPD’s Manhattan Special Victims Squad and the prosecutors in my Office’s Special Victims Bureau for their work on this case.
According to the Daily News, Burrowes and Pek pleaded not guilty. Burrowes’ lawyer, Brad Foster, called the case weak because DNA evidence reportedly only links Asliev to the crime. Asliev will be arraigned next week.
Boys Town, the Brooklyn group home, was shut down following the arrests of the three teens. An employee, Denzel Thompson, was arrested and charged with falsifying log books.