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Friday, July 31, 2015

2 Convicted of Raping Male Roommate on Christmas Eve

2 Convicted of Raping Male Roommate on Christmas Eve

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- District Attorney Robert Johnson announced that a Bronx Supreme Court jury has found two men guilty in the Christmas Eve 2013 sexual assault and beating of their roommate.

When you picture a sexual assault, the automatic assumption is that the victim is female.  But a vast minority of sex assault victims are men. And so was the victim of now-convicted 34-year-old Orlando Carrera and 44-year-old Felix Ojeda-Flores.

Flores and Carrera were convicted following a week-long trial and a day’s worth of deliberation, found guilty to have acted in concert, committing the crimes of: criminal sexual act in the first degree (1 count each defendant) – Class B Felony[1]; criminal sexual act in the third degree (1 count each defendant) – Class E Felony; assault in the third degree – Class A Misdemeanor; criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree – Class A Misdemeanor.

When the defendants are both sentenced on August 17th before Supreme Court Justice John Carter (Room 560, Hall of Justice, 265 E. 161st Street), they each face a maximum of 25 years in prison.

This was a case of power and control, with two men dominating a third, as the roommates spent the Christmas Eve afternoon drinking with a fourth man, who had prior, minor beefs with the victim. The three men each rented a bedroom in their apartment on Wallace Avenue, just off Lydig Avenue – where Carrera lived with his wife and three-year-old child. But it was just the men at home that afternoon when Flores bullied the third roommate, a disabled construction worker.  He challenged the now-38-year-old man, “Fight me or give me your ass” – whereupon Carrera knocked him to the floor with a stick, Flores grabbed his head and held him down while Carrera pulled down his pants. Carrera sexually assaulted his roommate, then Flores took his turn.

The victim escaped to the bathroom, but when he tried to exit to his bedroom, the two assailants pitched beer bottles and plates, everything they could grab from the kitchen.

The assaulted man was so traumatized, he did not tell anyone for days – not even his family with whom he spent Christmas. As with any sexual assault it is hard for the victim/survivor to come forward and report to law enforcement. Even when a police report is filed it still remains difficult for the victim to continue to proceed with the criminal charges. This is was a result of shame, guilt and misconceptions by societal views on sexual assault. 

When a sexual assault occurs most think it is about sex. However, it is really about power and control of another. The perpetrator often gets more satisfaction by making someone submit to their perverse desires without their consent.

The difficulty in these cases is why the Bronx District Attorney’s Office has a Crime Victims Assistance Unit (CVAU) that provides both concrete and supportive services in addition to accompanying victims to trials.  In order to deal with the crisis and long term effects, on-site therapists are also available. The CVAU is reachable at the main office (198 E. 161st Street, 718-490-2115) or its satellite office at 4101 White Plains Road (718-798-5892).  There need not be an arrest or a pending case in order for Bronx victims to obtain help. 

#NYPD #BronxDA #Rape #NewYork

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