FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Brooklyn Man Convicted of Brutally Attacking Pregnant Ex-Girlfriend,
Causing Death of Unborn Child
Faces Up to 33 Years in Prison
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Brooklyn man has been found guilty of brutally attacking his ex-girlfriend, who was almost seven months pregnant, resulting in the death of her unborn child.
District Attorney Thompson said, “After researching online whether punching a pregnant woman in the stomach can cause a miscarriage, this defendant ambushed and repeatedly punched his pregnant ex-girlfriend in her stomach so savagely that she became unconscious, needed two blood transfusions and eventually lost her baby. We will now seek the maximum sentence that this coward truly deserves.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Torey Branch, 35, of 1414 Bergen Street, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. The defendant was found guilty today of first-degree abortion, first-degree burglary and third-degree assault following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Alexander B. Jeong. The defendant faces up to 33 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 1, 2016.
According to trial testimony, the defendant and victim had a nine-year relationship during which time the victim became pregnant. The defendant expressed that he did not want a child and became angry at the victim’s decision to follow through with the pregnancy.
On March 28, 2014, the victim and defendant agreed to meet at the victim’s Brooklyn residence. At approximately 1:15 p.m., as the victim entered into her apartment building, surveillance video shows she was followed inside by two masked men, one of whom has not been apprehended. Once inside, the two masked men choked and punched the victim about the head and body and then repeatedly hit the victim’s pregnant stomach, eventually knocking the victim unconscious.
According to trial testimony, the victim identified one of the masked men as the defendant when she heard him say “move, move” during the attack and recognized his voice. The victim was hit approximately 22 times and suffered severe injuries including an orbital fracture. Her unborn child died in utero a few hours after the attack.
A search of the defendant’s cell phone, according to testimony, revealed approximately 51 incriminating online searches including “can being hit in the stomach cause a miscarriage” and “what happens if you punch a pregnant woman in the stomach.” The searches occurred between January 19, 2014 and March 9, 2014 — approximately three weeks prior to the attack.
The case was investigated by Detective Kenneth Anderson of the New York City Police Department’s 75th Precinct.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Joanna Lettieri, of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Edward Purce, Deputy Bureau Chief and under the overall supervision of Michelle Kaminsky, Bureau Chief.