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Astoria rapist gets 18 yrs. in sex attack

Joseph Gentile, of 21-60 46th St. in Astoria, was convicted in October of rape, assault and criminal possession of a weapon and sentenced to 18 years in prison last week by Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said."The sentence imposed by the court severely punishes the defendant for the sexual assault and torture of his ex-girlfriend," Brown said. "Justice has been done."On July 29, 2005, Gentile and a 24-year-old friend from Astoria, Peter DiPiano, took a livery cab to the home of Gentile's former girlfriend in the Bronx, the DA said. The victim was sitting on her porch when Gentile approached her and displayed a .45 caliber pistol in his waistband, Brown said. The defendant forcibly dragged the woman into the livery cab, where DiPiano sat waiting with a shotgun, the DA said.Gentile told the livery cab driver to drop the three passengers at his Astoria residence, where he dragged the woman into a laundry room and forcibly raped her, the DA said. The defendant also burned the victim five times on her left wrist with a lighted cigarette and threatened to kill her after the rape, Brown said.The woman was rescued by police after her sister saw Gentile dragging the victim into the livery cab and dialed 911, the DA said. Gentile was arrested at his apartment, Brown said.During his trial, Gentile was held on $3 million bail and could have faced up to 32 years in prison, Brown said.DiPiano, who lives at 22-17 41st St. in Astoria, was also arrested in connection with the incident and pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon before Queens Criminal Court Judge Robert Raciti on April 24, the DA said. DiPiano was sentenced to one year in jail on June 26, Brown said.Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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