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Third suspect sentenced in ’99 Bayside HS attack

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Nearly three years after he helped sexually attack and beat a female student in a basement bathroom at Bayside High School, an East Elmhurst man was sentenced to 13 years in prison last week for the brutal assault that shook the usually peaceful school.

Parrish Jones, 21, was the last of three defendants to plead guilty to the October 1999 attack in which the 16-year-old victim was choked with Jones’ belt until she was unconscious and then sodomized. In June 2001, Jones also was accused of attempting to arrange the victim’s kidnapping and murder to prevent her from testifying against him at trial.

Jones, of 105-16 34th Ave., pleaded guilty to two separate indictments June 26 charging him with sodomy, kidnapping, sexual abuse, assault and conspiracy before State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grosso in Kew Gardens.

He was sentenced last Thursday to 13 years in prison instead of a possible 16 years as part of a June plea deal in which Jones got less time in exchange for his guilty plea.

Earlier this year, the two other defendants pleaded guilty to similar charges. Elkech Leon, 20, of 89-43 212th Pl. in Queens Village, was sentenced to 15 years in jail, and Jonathan Mendoza, 20, of 43-55 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing, was sentenced to six years in jail.

At the time of the attack the three men, all of whom were special education students, and the victim were sophomores at Bayside High School, which has 2,700 students.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the nature of the assault justified Jones’ prison sentence.

“The heinous nature of this crime and subsequent actions of the defendant warrant the sentence he has received,” Brown said in a statement. “It should come as some comfort to the victim and her family to know that the last of her attackers is behind bars.”

The girl’s name is being withheld due to the nature of the crime.

Brown said the three men lured the victim into a bathroom in the basement of Bayside High School. They then proceeded to beat and strangle the girl using Jones’ belt, Brown said.

Once she fell into unconsciousness, Jones and Leon sodomized the victim, while Mendoza acted as the lookout. After attacking the girl, Brown said, the three men left her “bound and half dressed” on the bathroom floor.

A short while after the three men left the bathroom, a janitor discovered the girl on the floor and notified the police. The three were arrested several hours later.

Brown said that during Jones’ incarceration on Rikers Island, he tried to arrange for the girl’s abduction and murder to prevent her from testifying at the trial. He said the Queens DA’s office learned of Jones’ plan and began an investigation. The defendant tried to hire a “hit man,” who was an undercover police officer, Brown said.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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