Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that a 21-year-old Richmond Hill man has been charged with murder and sexual abuse for the heinous attack of a 92-year-old Queens 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, “In this case, the defendant is alleged to have attacked and sexually assaulted the elderly woman on the street. This was senseless, brutal act of violence. The victim was found with her clothes pulled above her waist and near death. The defendant has been apprehended and now faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life locked behind bars.”

The District Attorney’s Office identified the defendant as Reeaz Khan, 21, of 134th Street, in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens. The defendant is awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on 2 counts each of second-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse. If convicted, Khan faces 25 years to life in prison.

According to the charges, said DA Katz, the defendant was observed on video surveillance following the victim, Maria Fuertes, as she walked on 127th Avenue. Khan then allegedly knocked the 92-year-old woman to the ground near parked cars, where he is alleged to have sexually assaulted her on the sidewalk. The defendant is then observed moments later on video surveillance running quickly away from the scene.

Continuing, said District Attorney Katz, Ms. Fuertes was found by a passerby at approximately 2:14 a.m. and called 911. The victim was transported to a local Queens hospital where she 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 Patricia A. Diaz, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Investigations Bureau supervised by Senior Assistant District Attorney Kristin Papadopoulos and Assistant District Attorney Peter J. McCormack, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

It should be noted that a criminal complaint 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.