Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that a 21-year-old Richmond Hill man has been indicted by a Queens County grand jury on murder and sexual abuse charges for the heinous attack of a 92-year-old woman, who was walking near her home in the early morning hours of January 6, 2020, when the defendant allegedly threw her to the ground, sexually assaulted her and sprinted from the scene.

District Attorney Katz said, “A grand jury has taken action indicting this defendant to hold him accountable for the horrible attack of an elderly woman, who was beloved in her neighborhood. The defendant is accused of pouncing on the 92-year-old woman from behind, throwing her to the ground and then sexually assaulting her before he ran from the scene. The victim was discovered hours later barely conscious, incoherent and naked from the waist down. The defendant has been apprehended and will be prosecuted for his alleged heinous actions.”

The 7-count indictment charges Reeaz Khan, 21, of 134th Street in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of
Queens with1-count of murder in the second degree with depraved indifference, 2-counts of felony murder in the second degree, 1-count of manslaughter in the first degree, 1-count of attempted rape in the first degree, 1-count of sexual abuse in the first degree and 1-count of tampering with physical evidence. The defendant will be arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder on February 4, 2020. If convicted, Khan faces 25 years to life in prison.
According to the charges, said District Attorney Katz, the defendant was observed on video surveillance following the victim, Maria Fuertes, as she walked on 127th Avenue near her home. Khan then allegedly attacked her from behind, knocked the 92-year-old onto the sidewalk. The defendant is alleged to have sexually assaulted her, according to the autopsy performed by the medical examiner. The defendant is then observed moments later on video surveillance running quickly away from the scene.

Continuing, said DA Katz, Ms. Fuertes was found by a passerby at approximately 2:14 a.m., who called 911. The victim, who was barely conscious and incoherent, was transported to a local Queens hospital. The victim sustained a fractured spine in 2 places, 2 rib fractures, bruising to her neck and chest and other injuries and died as a result of the injuries.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Michael Gaine of the New York City Police Department’s Queens South Homicide Squad along with Detective Joseph Petrelli of the New York City Police Department’s 106th Precinct.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Emily Collins, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Trials Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Brad A. Leventhal, Bureau Chief and John W. Kosinski, Deputy Chief and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

It should be noted that an indictment is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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