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Defendant Lured a Prostitute to a Prearranged Location,
Then Tried to Rape Her
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Thursday, May 9, 2019, that, Lionel Williams, age 44, of Port Jervis, has been convicted after a jury trial of Attempted Rape in the First Degree and two counts of Tampering with Physical Evidence, in connection with the September 17, 2018, attempted rape of a prostitute in Port Jervis. When Williams is sentenced before County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown, he faces up to fifteen years in prison on the attempted rape charge, as well as possible consecutive sentences of two to four years in prison on each of the tampering with evidence charges.
Late in the evening on September 16, 2018, Williams sent a text message to a Port Jervis prostitute, arranging to meet her on West Main Street for a sexual encounter. Before the time for the encounter arrived, Williams texted the woman again, cancelling the arrangement. Shortly after midnight on September 17, 2018, however, Williams went to the arranged location, where the woman had arrived. Williams followed the woman for several blocks, without her realizing it, before grabbing her from behind, dragging her down an embankment near the Delaware River, and attempting to rape her. Williams then fled the scene. Later, Williams deleted the relevant text messages from his phone and disposed of the clothing he had been wearing at the time of the crime.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Port Jervis Police Department for their efforts in the investigation and prosecution of the case.
“Sex crimes are despicable,” said District Attorney Hoovler, “and no one, woman, man, or child, should be forced to endure them. My Office takes sex offenses very seriously, and we will seek significant, appropriate sentences for those who commit them. As a result of this conviction, some measure of justice will be done for the victim of the defendant’s crime, and the defendant will be punished for his actions.”
Senior Assistant District Attorney Maryellen Albanese and Assistant District Attorney Christine Maggiore prosecuted the case.
A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.