QUEENSBRIDGE HOUSES RAPIST CONVICTED IN 1998 ATTACK; MEGAN'S LAW REGISTRY LED TO ARREST
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced today that a 31 year old former resident of the Queensbridge Houses was convicted late yesterday of raping and sodomizing a then 71 year old resident of the same housing development in October 1998.
District Attorney Brown said, "This vicious sexual assault on a 71 year old woman as she was entering her apartment having just returned from church was a truly appalling crime. Had it not been for the strength of the victim in reporting this case to the police and for the provisions of Megan's Law this defendant might have eluded apprehension."
District Attorney Brown identified the defendant as James Singleton, 31, of 41-09 Vernon Boulevard. He was convicted after a one week jury trial before Supreme Court Justice Randall Eng who will impose sentence on December 7th. He faces consecutive sentences of 25 years each on various counts of rape, sodomy and burglary and up to 28 additional years on four counts of sexual abuse. "All totaled," said District Attorney Brown, "the defendant could be sentenced to 103 years in prison --- and that would be only fitting."
According to the District Attorney, the defendant approached the victim as she was entering her apartment in the Queensbridge Houses on Sunday, October 18 at about 8:30pm. As she opened her door she was pushed into her apartment. Once inside her attacker told her that he would kill her unless she did what he wanted her to do and that he wanted to have sex with her. The victim refused and the defendant then raped and sodomized her. The defendant was arrested the following night at his residence.
District Attorney Brown said, "In January 1996 Megan's Law, which mandates the registration of sex offenders, became effective. This defendant pled guilty in 1986 to the rape of a 74 year old woman here in Queens County. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail and was released in April 1997. Under the provisions of Megan's Law a hearing was held in State Supreme Court just before he was released and he was registered as a sex offender. When the victim in this case identified her attacker as a man by the name of 'James' who said that he just gotten out of jail, the Special Victims Squad detectives --- and they are to be commended for their professionalism in handling of this case --- immediately ran the name and the location of the crime through the Police Department's Sex Offender Monitoring Unit. They came up with two hits on an individual named 'James' who lived in the 114 precinct who had been registered under Megan's Law and who had recently been released from prison. Based on those hits, an identification of the defendant was made and he was arrested. He has now been convicted and, as a result will never be free again.
Assistant District Attorney Steven Antignani of the District Attorney's Special Victims Bureau which is under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Marjory D. Fisher and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney Gregory L. Lasak, was in charge of the case.