MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The victim of a brutal rape in Freeport came face-to-face with her alleged attacker in a Mineola courtroom Monday.
There was drama in the courtroom Monday as the highly unusual face-off took place at the arraignment of Ever Martinez-Reyes.
Martinez-Reyes, 24, is accused of knocking the victim out as she walked home and then attacking her. The whole incident was caught on surveillance video.
Martinez-Reyes was in court to learn that he’d been indicted by a grand jury on multiple counts of rape, sexual abuse and assault.
Just feet away from him in the small courtroom sat his alleged victim, holding her composure, with sunglasses concealing her eyes and a scarf over her face, reported CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan
She was supported by her family.
“I told him to focus on what was happening at the moment with the judge,” said Martinez-Reyes’ defense attorney Joseph Lo Piccolo said. “She has every right to be here. She is the victim of a crime.”
Lo Piccolo says his client, however, was not the one caught on surveillance video in September, viciously beating, raping and knocking unconscious the 36-year-old mother of two outside her own home.
She had to kick in a window, crying for help, as the suspect sauntered away.
“The defendant is accused of stalking a young woman as she walked home and then brutally attacking her for more than an hour,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
“The tip came in that he was going to flee to El Salvador,” said Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
Police say Martinez-Reyes was a day laborer and landscaper who did not know his victim.
Counselors say survivors going to court can be therapeutic.
“This is sometimes a healing method,” said Keith Scott of The Safe Center on Long Island. “A perpetrator takes the power from the victim by sexually assaulting them. Now the survivor can stand in court and face the accused and take their power back.”
The victim’s family is vowing to support their daughter every step of the way, with patience and love and helping her process her emotions as she begins to recover from the physical and psychological shock.
Martinez-Reyes remains held without bail and faces up to 25 year in prison if convicted.