Long Beach Man Gets 10 Years For Raping German Tourist Staying In His Apartment

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Long Island bartender will spend 10 years in prison for raping a German tourist after slipping a drug into her drink while she was staying at his apartment, prosecutors said Friday.

Dennis Edison, 32, was convicted in August of rape and sexual abuse.

Edison had nothing to say to the judge before he was sentenced. But the tourist and her friend told a troubling story.

Last November, the victim and her friend, who were both 21 at the time, used couchsurfing.com — a website that pairs travelers with hosts — to spend a few days at Edison’s Long Beach apartment.

But on the second night of their stay, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said Edison put GHB, the tasteless, illegal steroid known as the “date rape” drug, in cocktails he made for the women.

“They felt very disassociated from their bodies, they felt like they were walking around like robots, their movements were very heavy and lethargic. They knew that something was off,” Singas said.

He then raped one of the women after she fell unconscious, Singas said. The women left the apartment after the victim became violently ill. They went to a hospital in Manhattan, where they reported the crime.

Edison initially denied contact with the woman, suggesting food poisoning. But doctors said her symptoms matched those of the date rape drug, but the drug was out of her system.

“These are difficult cases to prosecute with a drug like the date rape drug that dissipates so quickly, and with the effects that the drug has that a woman literally has no memory,” Singas said.

Prosecutors said also Edison posted his Long Beach, Long Island home on couchsurfing.com as being in “New York, New York” – in what amounted to a lie to lure young foreigners.

Edison’s relatives left in tears after a judge sentenced him to10 years for first-degree rape.

Edison’s attorney cited his client’s history of community service, and said the case amounts to “he said, she said.”

“The young lady consented to the act and beyond that,” said attorney Aaron Goldsmith. “We are at a loss for words as to why the charges were brought.”

Goldsmith said an appeal is planned. But Jane Manning of the National Organization for Women said the Edison’s methods are common for predators.

“Predators are deliberately choosing drugs like GHB that dissipate quickly from the blood so they can’t be detected in blood samples,” Manning said.

Singas said this case is a reminder to people who use similar services online.

“I want to remind anyone who’s listening that staying in the home of a stranger you met on the Internet poses serious dangers,” Singas said. “This case highlights for us the dangers of the sharing economy in which so many of us participate — whether it’s getting into a stranger’s car that we call up on our phone, or staying in a stranger’s home. We have to be careful.”

The DA recommends always getting references when staying in a stranger’s home. Couchsurfing.com has not responded to requests for comment.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Michael says:

    10 years is NOT long enough! Perhaps 10 years and a chemical castration but as it is now in under 10 years he will be free and WILL do it again!

  2. The Facts says:

    Should have been 100 years!

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