Borough Park

Man gets 20 years for Borough Park rape

July 24, 2017 By Paul Frangipane Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mug shot of Robert Hernandez. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn DA’s Office.
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A 30-year-old man from Brooklyn denied his crimes even as he was being sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday for raping and robbing an alleged prostitute in a Borough Park apartment.

“I did not commit any crimes,” Hernandez told Justice Joanne Quinones in Brooklyn Supreme Court. “People make mistakes.”

Hernandez walked into the courtroom holding a brown paper bag filled with arts and crafts for his grandmother between his handcuffs. In his statement, he listed off phrases like, “I trust in Jesus,” “Every day I become a better man” and, “I want to be happy and share happiness with others.”

On July 13, 2015, Hernandez arrived at 51st Street in Borough Park to meet a 52-year-old alleged prostitute whom he had previously met with.

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When she opened the door to let him in, Hernandez let Joel Lopez, 29, in as well.

Hernandez then threw the woman to the floor while Lopez duct taped her hands, feet and mouth and removed her underwear, according to a statement from the Brooklyn DA’s Office.

Hernandez threatened to set her on fire if she kept struggling and then raped her on the bed while Lopez held her legs open.

“This defendant ruthlessly and viciously attacked a vulnerable woman, knowing that she would be an easy target,” Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in the statement.

The pair ran off with two cellphones, a laptop and cash from the woman before she called her escort service, which called the police.

“It’s outrageous,” Hernandez’s girlfriend said outside the courthouse. “20 years is too much.”

Assistant District Attorney Gwen Barnes argued for a 50-year sentence.

Hernandez’s lawyer Susan Mitchell said 50 years would have been “disproportionately harsh” to Lopez, who got 12 years after previously pleading guilty.

Mitchell added that Hernandez stood firm in his innocence and was “worthy of some compassion.”

Hernandez was convicted by a jury on June 12 for first-degree rape, robbery, burglary and second-degree assault.


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