A Rosedale man was sentenced to 22 years in prison last week for sodomizing and robbing a livery cab driver at gunpoint on Easter 2002, the Queens District Attorney said.
Rmell Rogers, 21, of 230-46 144th Ave., received the jail term almost two months after a jury in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens found him guilty of attacking the 43-year-old woman and forcing her to hide naked in the back seat of the car while he drove around south Queens, DA Brown said.
The defendant has been sentenced to prison for committing a brutal and vicious crime in which he held a hardworking woman against her will and then sexually attacked and robbed her, Brown said. Although the victim was severely traumatized by her ordeal, she had the courage to testify against her assailant and help ensure that justice was done. The spirit and determination she has shown have been remarkable.
The livery driver, who was not identified, testified against Rogers during his June trial.
I wanted to die, the woman said as she wept. I was in pain. I was ashamed. I felt horrible.
The woman picked up Rogers and his male friend the week before the attack, and Rogers asked the woman on a date, she said. She declined, saying she had a son his age, which may have embarrassed Rogers in front of his friend, she said.
Rogers called her again on Easter, asking to be picked up. He first told her to drive to a Newark address, but later asked to be taken to Huxley Street in Rosedale, a dead end, she said. Rogers told her to shut off the car and turn off the lights, the woman said.
I was sitting there, and I felt something against my cheek, she said, as she put her fingers to her head. I grabbed it, I turned around, and I said, What are you doing?
What she felt turned out to be a gun.
I knew he was going to rob me, rape me and probably kill me, she said as she cried.
Rogers forced her to remove her clothes and sodomized her, she said.
Rogers then turned on the radio and asked the woman where her money was, she said. He went through her purse and various compartments in the van, taking money and her non-drivers identification, which contained her address, she said.
Rogers started the car and drove off, with the woman still naked in the back seat. He demanded she stay crouched down so no one would spot her, she said.
Rogers continued to drive her around South Queens, making several phone calls on her cell phone. Rogers stopped near a movie theater in Cross Bay and told her he was going out to make a phone call but never returned, she said.
When the woman realized Rogers was not coming back, she grabbed her extra set of keys and drove to her companys address, where her colleagues called the police, she said.
Rogers was arrested three days later after police traced the calls he made on her cell phone.
In court, Rogers admitted to the attack. But he said a group of men to whom he owed a $700 gambling debt demanded that he rob her. When the men found out she had little money, they told him to rape her, threatening to kill both of them if he did not comply, he said.
Rogers said he communicated with the men that night through the earpiece of his cellular phone.
The woman, however, said she had a clear view of his ears and saw no such device.
A jury found Rogers guilty of robbery, sodomy, sex abuse and unlawful imprisonment on June 10.
Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2003 Community News Group
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