DA Vance Announces Sentencings in Two Separate Push-In Sex Assaults


June 18, 2015

Donelle Murphy Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Kips Bay Sexual Assault

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the sentencing of JEAN RODRIGUEZ, 24, to 17-years-to-life in state prison for raping a woman in her Washington Heights apartment last summer. On May 26, 2015, RODRIGUEZ pleaded guilty to the top count of the New York State Supreme Court indictment against him, Predatory Sexual Assault, as well as Rape in the First Degree and Burglary in the First Degree as a Sexually Motivated Felony.

District Attorney Vance also announced the sentencing of DONELLE MURPHY, 30, to 15 years in state prison and 10 years post-release supervision for attempting to rape a 21-year-old woman at knifepoint in her Kips Bay apartment in December 2013. On March 5, 2015, a New York State Supreme Court jury found MURPHY guilty of one count each of Attempted Rape and Sexual Abuse in the First Degrees, as well as Burglary in the Second Degree.

“These defendants violently attacked and sexually assaulted two women where they should have been the safest – their own homes,” said District Attorney Vance. “The similarities in today’s cases are disturbing: both defendants followed their victim as they walked home, used ploys to convince them to open their doors, and threatened them with a sharp object – a knife and a pair of scissors. The lengthy prison sentences handed down today demonstrate that there are serious consequences for these types of crimes.”

According to the RODRIGUEZ’s guilty plea and statements made on the record in court, shortly before midnight on July 15, 2014, RODRIGUEZ followed a 20-year-old woman into her Washington Heights apartment building as she returned home from work. After waiting for the victim to enter her apartment, RODRIGUEZ rang her doorbell, pretending to have a question for her. When she opened the door, RODRIGUEZ violently forced his way into her apartment, physically assaulting and choking her. He held a pair of scissors to the victim’s neck, threatened her, and raped her before fleeing. He was apprehended by the NYPD two days later.

As proven at MURPHY’s trial, shortly after 1:00 a.m. on December 16, 2013, the defendant followed a 21-year-old woman home from a McDonald’s located near her Kips Bay residence. After briefly returning to McDonald’s, MURPHY knocked on the victim’s apartment door at approximately 2:00 a.m., saying he was there to return her lost wallet. After reciting information from her driver’s license to convince her to open the door, MURPHY pushed his way into her apartment. Covering her mouth with his hand, MURPHY displayed a knife, and attempted to rape her. The victim fought back, and after a neighbor heard the commotion and began yelling, MURPHY fled. He was apprehended by police five days later.

Assistant District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal prosecuted RODRIGUEZ’s case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kerry O’Connell, Chief of Trial Bureau 80; Assistant District Attorney Martha Bashford, Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit; and Executive Assistant Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division.

Assistant District Attorney Alyssa Gunther prosecuted MURPHY’s case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney William Mahoney, Chief of Trial Bureau 60; Assistant District Attorney Martha Bashford, Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit; and Executive Assistant Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division.

District Attorney Vance thanked detectives from the NYPD’s Manhattan Special Victims Squad for their assistance with both cases.

Defendant Information:

JEAN RODRIGUEZ, D.O.B. 10/15/1990
Unknown

Convicted:

  • Predatory Sexual Assault, a class A felony, one count
  • Rape in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
  • Burglary in the First Degree as a Sexually Motivated Felony, a class B felony, one count

Sentenced:

  • 17-years-to-life in state prison

DONELLE MURPHY D.O.B. 12/1/1984
New York, NY

Convicted:

  • Attempted Rape in the First Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Burglary in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
  • Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a class D felony, one count

Sentenced:

  • 15 years in state prison
  • 10 years post-release supervision