Oct. 2, 2020 By Christian Murray
A homeless man has been indicted on rape charges for the sexual assault of a 51-year-old woman who he allegedly attacked in Forest Park in July.
Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, 32, allegedly followed the victim along a trail inside the park at around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25 before sexually assaulting her. The woman put up a struggle and managed to fight her way out of it without sustaining serious physical injuries.
“What should have been an idyllic stroll through the park turned into a maelstrom of violence for the victim in this case, who courageously fought off her attacker,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. “Fortunately, a passerby heard her and startled the defendant, who will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Cardenas allegedly followed the woman on the orange trail, tapped her on the shoulder and when she turned hit her in the face and tried to kiss her. The victim was knocked to the ground.
According to the charges, he then dragged the woman into the bushes, pulled down her pants and got on top of her. He then wrapped a cloth around her neck to restrict her breathing as she tried to fight him off.
The victim screamed for help, alerting a passerby. Cardenas allegedly ran away.
Cardenas was arraigned today on a four count indictment charging him with rape in the first degree, sexual assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.
He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.