Man fights off sexual assault in East Village apartment

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who tried to sexually assault another man in the victim’s apartment on East 13th Street and Avenue B.

The victim, a 37-year-old man, and the other man met at a bar on Monday at about 2:30 a.m. and the victim invited him home. Once there, the other man tried to sexually assault the victim, who managed to push off his attacker and kick him, and the man left the apartment.

At some point, the guest also stole the victim’s laptop, a tablet, around 25 computer hard drives, a jacket, a wallet, an ID and keys before fleeing on Avenue B.

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Cop recognized for arrest of suspect in Stuy Town sexual assault

Police Officers William Blum and Brendan Bellew with Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman, commanding officer of the 13th Precinct, and 13th Precinct Community Council President Frank Scala (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Two cops from the 13th Precinct were recognized for catching the man who was later charged with a sexual assault in Stuyvesant Town that took place on Monday, October 8.

Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman awarded officers Brendan Bellew and William Blum last Tuesday as Cops of the Month for catching Melvin Collins, 36, the day after the incident occurred.

Hellman said that the woman who was assaulted had been hired by residents of Stuyvesant Town to clean their apartment and had been buzzed in by security as she had in the past when Collins allegedly followed her into the building.

Collins then attempted to sexually assault her while in the elevator, Hellman said, and when the elevator doors opened, he allegedly attempted to pull her into a stairway and rape her. Collins fled down the stairs when the victim started yelling.

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(UPDATED: Suspect arrested) Man chokes, sexually assaults woman in Stuy Town

Update: Police have arrested a man who was staying at the Armory Men’s Shelter on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. Melvin Collins, 36, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with burglary, sexual abuse, criminal obstruction of breathing, forcible touching and assault.

By Sabina Mollot

Police are looking for a man who followed a woman into a building in Stuyvesant Town on Monday morning.

The victim, a 42-year-old woman, had entered 315 Avenue C when a man followed her inside at about 8:10 a.m.

Once inside an elevator, the man started groping and kissing her, police said. The woman then ran out of the elevator and the man chased her, and tried to pull her into a stairwell. The attacker then got on top of the woman and choked her. He took off however, fleeing down the stairs when the victim started screaming.

The victim suffered scratches to her neck and was taken to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.

The suspect is described as being black, 30-35 years old and about 5’7″ to 5’9″, with a slim build. He was last seen wearing a dark long sleeve shirt, dark sneakers with white soles, and a baseball hat.

Neither he nor the victim are residents of Stuyvesant Town, according to management, and security has been beefed up in response to the incident.

“StuyTown Property Services has provided NYPD with video and is fully cooperating in the apprehension of the suspect,” said Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. “Public Safety presence has been heightened around the two communities. Our thoughts are with the victim and her family.”

Opinion: Nassar case a call to action in Washington to protect children

By Congress Member Carolyn Maloney

This January, the entire country was stunned to watch and hear one young woman after another courageously step up to the microphone to detail their experiences of sexual abuse committed by Larry Nassar, and that they represented hundreds of other women around the country.  As each told their story, I was struck by how many people failed to protect these young girls and how many red flags were blatantly ignored, all allowing Nassar to continue his abuse over decades.

These girls and women turned to the adults they should have been able to trust – coaches, school administrators, the police – and each time they were dismissed and ignored, their stories covered up. Each and every organization tasked with their protection made decisions to defend themselves and not the innocent girls whose safety should have been their priority. A system that chooses prestige, power, and gold medals above the health and safety of its athletes has a lot to answer for.

That is why, on January 25, I asked the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform, on which I am a senior member, to immediately begin investigating how this could have happened. Chairman Gowdy agreed, and I joined him, Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and other members of our Committee in calling upon the US Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, Twistars USA, and Karolyi Ranch to explain how Nassar’s crimes were allowed to occur and persist for decades. In light of recent reporting, I have also asked Chairman Gowdy to expand this investigation to include the FBI, NCAA and U.S. Department of Education.

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Former Beth Israel doctor charged with sexually assaulting patients

Former Mount Sinai Beth Israel Chief of Palliative Care Division Ricardo Cruciani

By Sabina Mollot

A former high-ranking doctor at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, who recently pleaded guilty to committing numerous sexual assaults of female patients at another hospital he worked at, is now facing charges of assaulting six other patients at Beth Israel.

The allegations include rape, forceful kissing and groping during the time Ricardo Cruciani, now 63, served as Beth Israel’s Chief of the Palliative Care Division. He was employed at the hospital from 2002-2014.

At that time, he was responsible for administering treatment to patients afflicted with chronic and debilitating pain disorders that are hard to find treatment for.

After leaving Beth Israel, Cruciani worked at Capital Health Medical Center in New Jersey and later Pennsylvania’s Drexel University neurology department.

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Hoylman pushes anti-Weinstein behavior bill

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo courtesy of Brad Hoylman)

By Sabina Mollot

As a red carpet-length list of accusers continues to speak out against alleged serial sexual predator Harvey Weinstein — State Senator Brad Hoylman is pushing a bill aiming to end the silencing of victims.

Hoylman, who’s authored the bill along with Queens Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, said it would forbid companies from forcing employees to waive their right to file claims of harassment or discrimination. It would also keep those companies from forcing those employees to keep quiet about such behavior. The prohibition also applies to companies when employing independent contractors.

“These non-disclosure agreements are preventing employees from speaking out so you have a vicious cycle that’s being perpetrated,” he said. “Multiple employees (of Weinstein Company) as we’ve seen, are all silenced.”

If a company were to tell an employee they still had to sign such an agreement, under the legislation, “it’s unenforceable,” said Hoylman. “A court would consider that portion null and void.”

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Man who sexually assaulted 3 women sentenced to 14 years

Juan Scott plead guilty on Wednesday for sexual assaults committed in 2014.

Juan Scott plead guilty on Wednesday for sexual assaults committed in 2014.

By Sabina Mollot

On Monday, a man who sexually assaulted two women in the East Village and another in a Stuyvesant Town elevator was sentenced to 14 years behind bars.

Juan Scott, who’s the cousin of actress Rosario Dawson, pleaded guilty in June to the three attacks. One of the victims was a woman he was dating but the others, including the one from Stuyvesant Town, were women he followed home.

Prosecutors had hoped for a 20-year sentence for Scott, who assaulted the three women over a period of several months in 2014.

He was arrested on October 19, 2014, two days after attacking a 20-year-old NYU student in Stuyvesant Town.

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Former Kips Bay shelter resident gets 20 years to life for raping woman in bar


Rodney Stover

The ex-con who raped a woman in the bathroom of a bar on East 27th Street last year, a crime that led the city to boot all the sex offenders from the 30th Street shelter, was sentenced to 20 years to life on Thursday.

Rodney Stover, 49, will do his time in a state prison for the April 2015 incident, after pleading guilty to three counts of predatory sexual assault. Stover had previously been convicted of rape in 1993 in Suffolk County.

Stover, who was staying at the Kips Bay men’s shelter last April, had hidden in the bathroom of the Turnmill bar, where he attacked the 23-year-old victim. As she tried to leave the bathroom, he grabbed her by the neck and forced her into a back stall while covering her mouth. Then he threatened her and raped her.

Four days later, Stover walked past the bar when an employee recognized him and called cops, who arrested him. Soon after that, the city moved all sex offenders out of the shelter, which is located at Bellevue Hospital’s Old Psych building.

“Rodney Stover lay in wait in a basement bathroom before attacking a young woman as she left the adjacent stall,” said District Attorney Cy Vance. “This brutal sex assault took place merely two months after the defendant was released from prison for a previous rape conviction. Thanks to the strength of this survivor, as well as the work of my Office’s prosecutors and the NYPD, this predator is no longer free to commit crimes against other women.”


Woman sexually assaulted at 23rd St. Station

Sexual assault suspect

Sexual assault suspect

Police are looking for a man who sexually assaulted a woman at the 23rd Street 6 station over the weekend.

Gothamist reported on Wednesday that the 32-year-old woman said that she had just missed an uptown 6 train at the station on Saturday at 10:20 p.m. when a man approached her and grabbed her arm and inner thigh, then exposed his genitals.

Police said that the man then demanded that she perform oral sex and when she screamed, he yelled at her to shut up. Police said that the man is in his 30s, 5’9” and 180 pounds with brown eyes, a shaved head and goatee. He was wearing a red shirt and tan cargo shorts at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Juan Scott pleads guilty to sexually assaulting 3 women

Juan Scott plead guilty on Wednesday for sexual assaults committed in 2014.

Juan Scott pleaded guilty on Wednesday to sexual assaults committed in Stuyvesant Town and the East Village.

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Juan Scott, the man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Stuyvesant Town elevator as well as two other women before that, has pleaded guilty to the three incidents.

Scott, 28, who’s also the cousin of actress Rosario Dawson, had initially pleaded not guilty.

He was arrested on October 19, 2014, two days after attacking a 20-year-old NYU student in Stuyvesant Town. On October 17 around 4:30 a.m.  Scott pushed the woman to the ground inside her building’s elevator and sexually assaulted her, although she was able to eventually fight him off. Multiple people in the building also heard the attack and went into the hallway, causing Scott to flee the scene. However, the incident was captured on a surveillance camera and Scott could be seen climbing down a tree to escape. After the images were released to the media, an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers helped police track Scott to his parents’ home on Long Island, the Manhattan District Attorney said.

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Police Watch: Police looking for mugger, foiled bank robbers

Mugging suspect

Mugging suspect

Police are looking for a man who robbed a woman in the elevator of her East Village building.
It was on Thursday, January 14 around 8:45 p.m. when the man confronted the woman in the elevator, simulated a gun and demanded her money. The victim, 27, turned over $150 in cash, which the mugger took and fled the scene.
Police didn’t release the victim’s exact address, but said the building was on East 12th Street and Third Avenue.
The suspect was last seen wearing a dark winter jacket and a dark winter hat.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Robbery suspects

Robbery suspects

Cops are asking the public’s assistance identifying two men wanted for trying to rob the M&T Bank located at 95 Madison Avenue. Police said the men approached a teller and demanded money last Thursday at 1 p.m. The teller refused and the suspects fled empty handed. There were no reported injuries.
The first suspect is a black male in his fifties, 5’8” tall, and the second suspect is a black male in his twenties, 5’7” tall. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at or texting TIP577 and their tips to 274637 (CRIMES).

Sixty-year-old Hector Collado was arrested for forcible touching in front of 38 East 29th Street on Wednesday at 9:19 a.m. Collado allegedly touched a 27-year-old woman inappropriately while she was on a downtown 6 train. The woman got off the train at East 28th Street and was speaking with a 911 dispatcher when she found two officers in an RMP at East 28th Street and Madison Avenue. One of the officers told the dispatcher that the victim was safely in their custody and they conducted a search of the area with her in the car. They drove about a block to East 29th Street where they saw a man fitting a description of the suspect and the victim immediately identified him.
The victim also said that when she told Collado she was going to call 911, he allegedly said, “You’re going to regret that.”
Collado was additionally charged with assault, menacing and harassment.

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Hoylman forum highlights lack of protection against ‘revenge porn’

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo courtesy of Senator Hoylman)

State Senator Brad Hoylman (Photo courtesy of Senator Hoylman)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

State Senator Brad Hoylman hosted a forum to promote awareness on intimate partner violence and nonconsensual pornography, commonly known as “revenge porn,” at the LGBT Center last Friday. The event was co-hosted by the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and co-sponsored by Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James.

Hoylman and other advocates at the event drew attention to the fact that there is no specific legislation in New York State that criminalizes the distribution of nonconsensual pornography.

“The truth is that the internet is not a safe place, particularly for women, people of color and LGBT individuals,” he said. “We can’t ask people to just forget about things because these are impacts that reverberate for the rest of your life. The fact that New York State has no law is truly shameful. No one should have to deal with this. It’s time for lawmakers to counter the growing threats.”

Holly Jacobs, the founder of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) and a victim of nonconsensual pornography, said that the term “revenge porn” is actually a misnomer because the phrase implies that there is always a personal relationship, but not all of the videos and photos distributed are motivated by revenge.

“Some are motivated by money, others by internet notoriety because the material becomes currency among young males,” she said, citing an incident reported on by the New York Times last November in which high school students in Colorado traded and collected hundreds of naked photos of other students in a so-called sexting ring.

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Sexual assault at Irving Place and E. 18th St.

The NYPD is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a suspect who is wanted in connection with a sexual assault that occurred within the confines of the 13th Precinct.  The suspect is described as a black man between 25-30 years old.

The incident occurred on Friday, January 6 at around 11:35 a.m., when the 30-year-old victim entered a building near Irving Place and East 18th Street. The suspect followed her inside, lifted up her skirt and touched her buttocks while she waited for an elevator. The victim did not request medical attention.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit tips online at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM.  All calls are strictly confidential.