Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Jerson Vasquez was indicted by a grand jury and arraigned on attempted murder, rape and other charges for allegedly arranging to meet a woman for paid sex and then beating her and taking back the money he paid along with her cellphone.

District Attorney Katz said: “The defendant was indicted for attempted murder to accurately reflect the brutality of the attack. We will seek justice for the victim of this vicious assault allegedly at the hands of a very dangerous, violent sexual predator.”

Vasquez, 23, of 170th Street in Jamaica, was arraigned on attempted murder in the second degree, rape in the first degree, robbery in the second degree, attempted assault in the first degree, two counts of assault in the second degree, strangulation in the second degree, attempted assault in the second degree, sexual abuse in the first degree and patronizing a person for prostitution in the third degree. Queens Supreme Court Justice Michelle Johnson ordered him to return to court on September 27. Vasquez faces 25 years in prison for each of the attempted murder and rape charges if convicted.

According to the charges:

  • On August 13, Vasquez responded to an ad on Facebook Marketplace for prostitution-related services. He asked the woman who placed the ad to meet him at an address on 93rd Avenue in Jamaica and directed her to the roof of the location.
  • Vasquez gave the woman $150, which she put in her purse.
  • The woman undressed and began to have intercourse with Vasquez, who grabbed her from behind, put his arms around her neck, choked her and slammed her head into a concrete wall. He demanded his money back.
  • Vasquez punched the woman in the face and took back the $150 he had given her. He then sat on top of the woman and repeatedly slammed her head onto the rooftop and put his hands around her neck and applied pressure to her throat. He penetrated her for a second time.
  • In addition to the $150, Vasquez took the woman’s cellphone and fled. Video surveillance footage shows Vasquez leave the location at approximately 5:51 p.m. with what looked like blood on his neck and hand.
  • The woman was taken to a local hospital and admitted for treatment for a laceration to the back of her head which required staples to close, bleeding, substantial pain, and bruising and swelling to large portions of her head, face and neck.

Assistant District Attorney Tara DiGregorio, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Bureau, is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Kiran Cheema under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jessica Melton, Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Investigations Gerard Brave.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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