Archive for the tag 'sexual assault'

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and the advocacy group Hollaback want the State Legislature to pass a new law that would protect straphangers from “subway grinders.”

A recent court ruling threw out a felony sexual assault case against a repeat offender who assaulted his victims on crowded subways. The judge presiding over the case dismissed the felony charges because the accused did not “use force against his victims,” according to a release sent from de Blasio’s office.

De Blasio and Hollaback Executive Director Emily May want new legislation passed that allows prosecutors to pursue felony charges and jail time for offenders found guilty of sexual abuse.

De Blasio sent a letter to Speaker Sheldon Silver and Majority Leader Dean Skelos outlining his position. Here is an excerpt:

We write in support of strengthening laws to protect transit riders from sexual assault. A deeply flawed court ruling has effectively downgraded the seriousness of sexual assaults in our transit system, claiming that perpetrators can only be charged with a felony if they utilize force during the assault. This most recent decision severely undercut recent efforts to hold “subway grinders” accountable and protect New York City straphangers—particularly women and children. We urge you to swiftly pass a new law that would enable prosecutors to bring felony charges against sex offenders who assault their victims on crowded trains and buses. We firmly believe that jail time is a necessary deterrent and response to persistent sexual abuse. The crimes involved in recent court cases posed a serious risk to the health and safety of New Yorkers.

In one case, a sex offender with 32 prior arrests was facing charges for rubbing himself to orgasm on three young women aged 24, 22 and 17. Incredibly, the judge in the case threw out felony charges on the grounds that no threat of violence was present during the assaults. The decision is ignorant of the reality facing millions of straphangers. There is little possibility of escape on a crowded, over-capacity train or bus, and victims are restrained and threatened in this environment as surely as if a perpetrator were using force.

Source: Matěj Baťha via Wikimedia Commons

A woman attempted to sexually assault a gay man in Midwood last Tuesday, leading to her arrest – and a knife-wound in her victim.

Cynthia Olivei, 52, knocked on the door of the 56-year-old man’s East 14th Street home, and barged in when he opened it.

“I’m going to rock you tonight. I know you’re gay,” she declared to the horrified man.

She then grabbed his genitals. He managed to push her off of him and attempted to throw her out of his home. She pulled out a knife and stabbed him.

Law enforcement tracked her down and charged with assault, menacing, harassment, forcible touching, trespass and weapon possession, according to the New York Post.

The man required 36 stitches to close his wound.

Norman Vanigas, the 23-year-old suspected of a sex assault and firing on police officers late Sunday night, is now off the streets and in police custody.

Authorities arrested Vanigas yesterday in the Bronx, charging him with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal use of a firearm, police said.

Here’s the rundown from DNAinfo:

At about 11 p.m. Sunday, a 21-year-old woman told Brooklyn cops that she had just been sexually assaulted by a man armed with a gun and knife near Oceanview Avenue in Brighton Beach, police stated. The officers then broadcast the man’s description over the radio.

Barely four blocks away, two cops in a patrol car allegedly spotted Vanigas, who fit the suspect’s description, walking east on Brighton 10th Street toward Neptune Avenue, the NYPD said. When the officers pulled their cruiser in front of Vanigas, he reportedly ran to the north side of Neptune Avenue, took out a gun and fired once at the cops.

The officers did not return fire, police said, and the Vanigas reportedly escaped on foot, sparking a two-day manhunt that ultimately led to his arrest.

Police have not charged Vanigas with any crimes pertaining to the alleged sexual assault, an NYPD spokesman said.

Source: NYPD

Norman Vanigas, 23, is wanted by police as a suspect for firing at police officers when stopped for questioning in last night’s sexual assault call. Authorities are offering a $12,000 reward for any information leading to his arrest.

Investigators are still determining if Vanigas was responsible for the sexual assault.

If you have any information regarding Vanigas, call 800-577-TIPS. You can also submit tips at www.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.

Source: NYPD

A sexual assault suspect fired on officers late Sunday night, kicking off a pursuit that lasted early into the morning and turned up no results.

(UPDATE [1:49 p.m.]: Police have released a photo of the suspect, Norman Vanigas, posted above. There is a $12,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.)

A helicopter circled the area from approximately 11:30 p.m. and police cars and foot patrols swarmed the streets around Shore Parkway and East 14th Street, where the attack is believed to have occurred.

DNAinfo reports:

Shortly before midnight, officers received a report that a woman in her 20s had been sexually assaulted near Shore Parkway and East 14th Street, police said. As cops canvassed the area, they encountered the suspect, who fled the area on foot.

“The suspect did at one point turn around and fire something in the general direction of the officers,” a police source said. “It’s unknown if it was a firearm or a pellet gun or a firecracker. It did make a noise of some sort.”

The suspect was not caught, despite that the search went on until at least 2:00 a.m., according to neighbors who live in the area.

The increased level of police activity was first reported by Sheepshead Bites, drawing residents in the area who helped fill neighbors in.

One reader, Mickie W., sent in the following report:

However according to sources on the ground in Zephyr’s Superette, the commotion began with an attempted rape in or near Brighton Beach during which the perpetrator pulled a gun and fired a round either at or within the vicinity of law enforcement, prompting an intense neighborhood wide manhunt.  The target of air and ground search were trees and bushes along the elevated tracks running between Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay.  An individual was allegedly taken into custody for identification and questioning but again, no confirmation from police.  Air and foot support appeared to stand down around 2 a.m. although the command vehicles stationed on east 14th and 15th Streets remained.

A commenter on the original post added:

I live on Ocean & X my fiance and I were stopped by officers while walking our dog. They asked for identification and let us go. I can still hear the helicopters circling the area. Hope they find who they are looking for.

Reader Andrew Kent was following chatter on the police scanner, submitting the following:

They were looking for someone supposedly hiding in a dumpster behind Reynolds, but now they’re trying to get access to the school to search.  The original call may have come from a porter inside the school.

Another resident living near the focal area of the search described part of the scene:

They circled over shore parkway and east 13th & Homecrest for about 40 minutes. A police van drove over a pile of garbage as though they were trying to scare somebody who was hiding in the pile and then walking officers came over and kicked the trash cans.

More officers were searching the bushes behind a building on Homecrest. Helicopter is still flying in the vicinity of the Belt Parkway and East 14th street.

And here’s a little more info from a reader that helps pinpoint the location:

E12th has half of the block closed off with yellow tape … from what the cops are saying shots happened right under the bridge on Neptune side.

Brady, with Assemblywoman Weinstein, at Good Shepherd Sports Annual Little League's opening day celebration in 2011. (Source: assembly.state.ny.us)

A grand jury decided not to indict the beloved monsignor of Marine Park’s Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church on sex abuse charges.

Thomas Brady, a longtime priest at Good Shepherd (1950 Batchelder Street) was arrested in October 2011, following allegations that he attempted “inappropriate sexual contact” and lewd comments with teenage boys.

According to the Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan’s office, the evidence didn’t pass muster with the Grand Jury. They sent the following statement to Sheepshead Bites earlier this week:

After conducting a thorough investigation into these allegations, our office presented evidence to a Brooklyn Grand Jury, and the Grand Jury voted not to indict this defendant.

The grand jury proceedings took place on April 26.

Brooklyn Daily is reporting that Brady’s case is still under review by the Diocese.

Diocese spokeswoman Stefanie Gutierrez confirmed that Brady is still on a forced administrative leave away from his Marine Park parish and the allegations were being reviewed by a cannon lawyer, who will determine if Brady violated any church rules.

… Investigators said that one of the victims — a 13-year-old student at Good Shepherd Parochial School — was in the church rectory with Brady when the senior made several lewd comments. At one point, Brady “offered to have sex” with the minor, cops claimed.

Investigators did not say that Brady had touched the child. Neither did the Diocese, which accused Brady, an FDNY chaplain with close ties to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, of having inappropriate contact with the 13-year-old, as well as a second teen. Diocese officials learned about the second attack while investigating the first.

Brady, 77, has had several strokes and is currently suffering from lung cancer, leading many in the community to come to his defense, insisting it was all a misunderstanding and honoring him with a Christmas tree lighting in his name.

A statue of Brooklyn's own Joe "JoePa" Paterno in front of Beaver Stadium, home to the Penn State Nittany Lions. Source: Wikipedia

College football fans all over the country mourned the passing of the Brooklyn-born Penn State titan, Joe “JoePa” Paterno, who succumbed to complications lung cancer this past week at 85.

Approximately 12,000 mourners attended a final tribute yesterday to the Penn State Nittany Lions’ beloved long-time leader, who was born in Flatbush, grew up in Marine Park, attended Good Shepherd Roman Catholic School and church (1950 Batchelder Street), and was credited with being the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history.

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A Marine Park church dedicated its Christmas display to an accused pedophile priest, angering his alleged victim's family.

A copy of the sign, via NYDailyNews.com

Even after allegations surfaced of Monsignor Thomas Brady attempting “inappropriate sexual contact” with teenage boys, officials at Marine Park’s Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church still dedicated their Christmas tree lighting to him. Now, the family of an alleged victim is outraged.

“That’s a slap in the face,” said the father of one of the alleged victims in a New York Daily News article. “Take it down. That’s hurtful. You’re gaining support for Brady, but what about the victims?”

Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church (1950 Batchelder Street) in Marine Park posted a sign in Brady’s honor in front of their Christmas display. The sign reads “this year’s tree lighting is dedicated to Monsignor Thomas F. Brady for his service to and love for the People of Good Shepherd.”

“I don’t have any comment on that,” said Pastor James Devlin about the dedication of the tree lighting.

Brady was placed on administrative leave after shocking allegations were made against in him in October that he attempted to grope two teenagers. His case is being handled by the Staten Island District Attorney because of his longtime friendship with the Brooklyn District Attorney.

Monsignor Thomas Brady (Source: assembly.state.ny.us)

The father of the 13-year-old victim of alleged child abuse by a beloved Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church monsignor has come forward, saying that the diocese is downplaying the incident.

“[The diocese] says that there was no physical contact, but there was,” the father told Brooklyn Daily on Monday. “[Brady] exposed himself and shoved his hands down my son’s pants.”

Police arrested 77-year-old Msgr. Thomas Brady last week, a 20-year leader of the parish at 1950 Batchelder Street who retired in 2009, after the teen accused him of sexual misconduct earlier in the week. According to the New York Times, the charges against Brady include endangering the welfare of a child and attempted sexual abuse.

The teen’s identity – and that of his father – has not been reported, following ethical standards put in place by reporters and law enforcement to protect alleged victims who are minors. However, the paper reported he is a Plumb Beach resident attending Good Shepherd parochial school. According the report, the father is not permitting the son to return to school.

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Brady, with Assemblywoman Weinstein, at Good Shepherd Sports Annual Little League's opening day celebration earlier this year. (Source: assembly.state.ny.us)

A well-respected long-time monsignor at Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church (1950 Batchelder Street) in Marine Park was arrested on Friday following allegations that he attempted “inappropriate sexual contact” with teenage boys earlier in the week.

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