FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Cab Driver Arraigned for Rape of 12-Year-Old Passenger
Who He Allegedly Assaulted Twice After Repeatedly Punching Her
Defendant Was Hired by Relative to Drive Victim Home;
Allegedly Brandished Gun, Threatened Her if She Reported Attack
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a cab driver has been indicted for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in the early evening hours of August 10, 2020, while driving around with her for more than two hours. The defendant allegedly stopped the cab at two different locations and climbed into the back seat to rape the child, before dropping her at home.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “I was sickened to hear of this alleged brutal attack on a helpless young girl who should have been safely driven to her home. I am committed to seeking justice for all victims of sexual assault, including this child, who will live with this trauma for the rest of her life. Keeping our streets safe from violent sexual predators is a top priority and we will seek to hold this defendant fully accountable.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Rafael Martinez, 32, of East New York, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo on a 28-count indictment charging him with three counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, four counts of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault, 12 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of second-degree sexual abuse, three counts of sexual misconduct and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. The defendant, whose bail was set at $200,000, was ordered to return to court on October 19, 2020. He faces a sentence of up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on August 10, 2020, at approximately 5:30 p.m., the defendant allegedly picked up a 12-year-old girl from a relative’s home in Fort Greene and was supposed to drive the girl to her own home in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Instead, it is alleged that after driving away, the defendant allegedly stopped the cab on Bergen Street and removed what appeared to be a black firearm from the glove compartment, loaded silver bullets into it and told the victim: “If you say anything, these bullets are for you.”
The defendant then allegedly climbed into the backseat, threatened the child with a firearm, and punched her body. The defendant then allegedly proceeded to rape and sexually assault her. The defendant then allegedly went back into the driver’s seat and drove to a second location, on Herkimer Street, and returned to the backseat, pushed the victim down and allegedly raped her again. At approximately 8 p.m., he allegedly dropped her home, where she disclosed to her mother that she had been raped.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Lana Schlesinger, of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, under the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Bureau Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not a proof of a defendant’s guilt.