Suspect in ST attempted rape pleads not guilty

Parents of victim say their daughter won’t let attack ‘derail’ her life

Attempted rape suspect Juan Scott entered a plea of not guilty.

Attempted rape suspect Juan Scott entered a plea of not guilty.

By Sabina Mollot

Juan Scott, the man arrested for the attempted rape of a woman in Stuyvesant Town as well as sexually abusing two other women made a brief appearance in court on Tuesday to plead not guilty. The plea was for all three incidents, with the attack on a woman in Stuyvesant Town in October being the most recent one.

Based on the nature of the alleged crimes, which include burglary that’s sexually motivated, Assistant District Attorney Brendan Tracy had recommended the judge give Scott a 20-year sentence as well as post-release supervision. In court, after being led inside in cuffs while wearing a t-shirt and jeans, the 26-year-old suspect said nothing beyond uttering the words “not guilty” three times.

After Scott was escorted out, the parents of the Stuyvesant Town victim spoke with reporters to say their 20-year-old daughter was doing well and was in class at NYU while court was in session.

“She’s strong, she’s doing okay,” said her father, who, like her mother, ask that their names not be published. “She’s not going to let a piece of trash derail her from where she wants to go.” He added that she planned to continue living in Stuyvesant Town and that he hopes the case won’t get sensationalized because of Scott being the cousin of a celebrity — actress Rosario Dawson.

“I feel sorry for her,” he said of Dawson. “I’m sure she wants nothing to do with this.”

On the plea of not guilty, the victim’s mother said, “For him to plead not guilty blows my mind.” Her husband added, “This is our due process. It’s something that makes you wish you could go back to the time when people were stoned. My wife believes in karma so I have to believe this guy will get what he deserves.”

Following the arraignment, the family was scheduled to fly back to the parents’ home in Riverside, California to celebrate Thanksgiving. The daughter is a third year student doing individual studies in NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and it’s also her third year living in the city. Her mother, who has two other adult children older than the one living in Stuyvesant Town, said her youngest daughter may go into marketing.

Andrew Bernstein, Scott’s Legal Aid attorney, didn’t take questions from reporters after court was adjourned.

In the Stuy Town incident, an intruder was seen on surveillance cameras following a woman into the building and into the elevator where he pounced on her. She fought him off, though she sustained some injuries, and he fled. The alleged attacker is seen in security footage running out the door and even climbing down a tree to escape.

The victim’s father said his daughter had been followed into the building after getting out of a cab only 40 feet away from the building. After getting arrested for the incident a couple of days later, Scott, who’d been staying at a former squat on East 13th Street, was also charged with sexually abusing a woman he’d been dating at a building on East 13th Street in September as well as another woman at a building on East 11th Street in June.