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Attacker gets 325-year sentence - Survivor expresses relief, but memories of ordeal persist

An unhinged ex-con who robbed and kidnapped a young couple and then cajoled his friends into gang raping his helpless female victim was sentenced to an almost unheard of 325 years behind prison, prosecutors announced Friday. During his sentencing held in Brooklyn Supreme Court on February 2, 41-year-old Arthur Kelly came face to face with his victim, who told a judge that although she is happy the torture has ended, there are times when the memories of the atrocities she inflicted on him are too much to bear. “After it was all over, I was so thankful that I was alive,” the young woman explained at the sentencing hearing. “But with all that came next, I wished they had just killed me.” Kelly was convicted on charges of rape in the first degree, robbery in the second degree and criminal sex act in the first degree for the July 2005 attack in which he and several accomplices carjacked a young couple near the corner of Ocean Parkway and Avenue S. The couple was forced to give up their ATM cards and PIN numbers so Kelly and his accomplices could empty out their bank accounts. They were then taken to an apartment building on East 46th Street in Flatlands Avenue – where Kelly lives. The attackers separated the couple and put the 21-year-old woman, a college student, into a dingy room in the building’s basement where Kelly and four others repeatedly raped her, prosecutors proved at trial. The woman was forced to wear a towel over her head so she could not see her attackers. Despite that predatory precaution, DNA evidence ultimately linked Kelly to the attacks. He was also caught on a bank surveillance camera withdrawing cash from the victim’s account, prosecutors proved. At the time of his arrest, Kelly, a level three sex offender, was already in prison, sentenced to a life on an unrelated charge. After hearing the victim’s statements, Judge Deborah Dowling handed down the sentence, ensuring that Kelly would die in prison. Kelly’s accomplices, 18-year-old Gerdzer Edmee, 25-year-old Etzer Edmee, 18-year-old Yashika Cochrane and 33-year-old Raynold Voltaire – the superintendent of the Flatlands building where the attack took place, have either been convicted or have pleaded guilty to their role in the attack, officials said. Prosecutors said that Cochrane, who did not take part in the rape, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery in the second degree in exchange for a two-year sentence. Voltaire, who alleged that Kelly had convinced him to join the gang rape, pleaded guilty to rape in the first degree, agreed to testify against Kelly and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

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