VALLEY STREAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 16-year-old Queens boy charged in connection with the rape of a 60-year-old woman in a Long Island park as well as a violent attack on a pregnant woman will be tried as an adult, Nassau County Police said Monday.
Nashane Peterkin, of Springfield Gardens, is being held without bail after facing a judge Monday.
As WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reported, Peterkin said nothing and showed no emotion during his arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead.
He is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree attempted sexual abuse, second-degree assault and strangulation.
Nassau Police Chief of Department Steve Skrynecki said the suspect’s age makes this case extremely rare.
“We have not had this type of a situation in quite some time where the victims are randomly selected, where there is no connection between the assailant and the victim,” Skrynecki said.
Police said Peterkin has been connected to at least three recent attacks in Valley Stream and in Lynbrook, Xirinachs reported.
“The three cases that we’re focused on now, we are looking at other cases and because of the proximity to New York City, New York City is also looking at any possible open cases that might involve him as well,” Skrynecki said.
Authorities said they have DNA evidence connecting Peterkin to the victims.
A New York Post report noted that Peterkin, then 15, was also charged in a two attacks on women in the Laurelton section of Queens in 2011. In each case, the newspaper reported, he brutally beat and punched his victims in the head.
The teen was arrested Sunday morning in Howard Beach.
Nassau County police said Peterkin is suspected in an attack a week ago Sunday in Valley Stream State Park. The 60-year-old victim was out alone on an exercise walk along a path when she was raped, choked and beaten, police said.
Police alleged Peterkin was also the suspect who attacked a 30-year-old woman who is seven months pregnant, as she walked south on Mill Road in Valley Stream on Aug. 12. He allegedly rode a bicycle up to the woman and grabbed her buttocks from behind, police said.
The woman ran west on Jedwood Place to escape the suspect, but he caught up with her, pushed her to the ground, and punched her in the face, police said. The suspect then tried to rip off the victim’s shirt and pin her to the ground, police said.
The woman was able to escape, and was treated at an area hospital for scrapes and cuts to her arms and legs, police said. The suspect rode off on his bicycle, police said.
“He only wanted one thing and it was to catch a cheap feel and to violate her,” the pregnant woman’s husband told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
About 20 minutes before that incident, investigators said a suspect with the same description attacked a 58-year-old woman outside her home in Lynbrook and began punching her. He then pushed her inside and tried to rip off her clothes, police said.
So far, no charges have been issued against Peterkin in connection with that incident.
Authorities said Peterkin, who was supposed to have his first day of high school Monday, has spent time in juvenile detention, McLogan reported.
He is due back in court Wednesday.
Despite relief that a suspect is under arrest, many in the community have asked why they weren’t alerted to the initial sexual assaults last month, McLogan reported.
Some residents wondered if the Labor Day rape could have been prevented.
Peterkin has been charged as an adult and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count.
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