Brooklyn Heights

Not the first arrest for alleged Brooklyn Heights sex assault burglar

Freed without bail in first case, suspect now in Rikers; high bail set

May 22, 2023 Mary Frost
Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — This is not the first time around for the suspect arrested in a terrifying sexual assault and burglary in Brooklyn Heights on May 18.

In fact, just four days before Jayquan Martinez, 27, allegedly robbed and assaulted a sleeping Brooklyn Heights mother in her apartment on May 12, he was arrested for another incident which took place on May 4. In the earlier case, he was charged with 13 counts including burglary, criminal trespass, criminal possession of stolen property, petit larceny and other charges (not including sexual assault), court records show.

Orders of protection have been issued to the victims in both cases.

Martinez is now at Rikers, where he was incarcerated on Saturday after being unable to make bail set at $200,001 by criminal court Judge Joshua Glick.

Martinez’ Legal Aid attorney in the May 4 burglary, Scott Lindsey Rudnick, told the Brooklyn Eagle that, other than a misdemeanor arrest in 2019 which was dismissed, Martinez had no criminal record before the first alleged burglary on May 4.

Jayquan Martinez, 27, charged in a Brooklyn Heights sexual assault and burglary, had been freed without bail in an earlier burglary. He is now behind bars at Rikers. Photo courtesy NYPD

While he was released without bail by Judge Germaine Auguste, Martinez had a clean record at that time, Rudnick said. “No criminal record, no warrants, no missed court dates.”

Martinez, who resides at 237 Nassau St. in the Farragut housing project, was charged with numerous felonies and misdemeanors in the attack on the Heights mom, including sexually motivated burglary, sexual abuse of a physically-helpless victim, attempted criminal sex act on a helpless victim, burglary: illegal entry of a dwelling, illegal possession of a credit card, criminal possession of stolen property and more, according to court records.

Police gave the approximate location of the assault as Middagh and Henry streets, and the case raised a great deal of concern in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, where the victim, an actress and producer, has a number of friends and acquaintances.

Martinez has been assigned a different Legal Aid lawyer — Judith Olwen Karpatkin — in the most recent charges.

Woke up to a nightmare

The petite, 5’1” victim told the Eagle that when she awoke, she thought at first that she was having a nightmare. Then, fearing for the life of her child, who was sleeping in another bedroom, she ferociously fought off the much taller and heavier attacker, lunging at him and screaming, and causing him to back out of her room. She threw herself in between the attacker and her child’s bedroom door and continued to scream at him while trying to make herself appear as large as possible.

“I kept screaming like an animal because I was trying to protect my son’s door,” she said.

The suspect fled from the apartment with the victim’s wallet containing cash and credit cards. The mother locked the apartment door and rushed to her son’s room, where she found him safe and uninjured. She barricaded herself and her son in his bedroom until the police responded to her 911 call. They arrived quickly, she said, and they discovered that the suspect had gone through the drawers in the kitchen and had left the knife drawer open.

Jayquan Martinez, the suspect depicted in this “wanted” poster which was posted around Brooklyn Heights by the Brooklyn Special Victims Squad, had been arrested for a different burglary less than a week before the most recent alleged sexual assault and burglary. Eagle photo by Mary Frost

Intense investigation

Martinez’ arrest followed an all-encompassing investigation carried out by the Brooklyn Special Victims Squad’s Det. Shania Roach and the 84th Precinct under Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Adeel Rana. The victim said police questioned her and other residents; checked security cameras in the neighborhood, and obtained a photo from a subway camera. The victim worked with a police artist who produced a sketch which was hung on lamp posts around Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO and sent to news outlets. The victim’s apartment was swept for forensic samples, and samples were obtained from the victim’s body, clothing and bed linens.

According to the NYPD police report, Martinez was arrested in the 77th Precinct, which includes the northern section of Crown Heights and part of Prospect Heights, at roughly 1:35 p.m. Thursday after a police canvass.

“I’m so relieved he is in police custody tonight,” the victim told the Eagle on Thursday.

She said that she and her son have been having trouble sleeping, and she has had trouble eating at times.

“I can’t sleep without a knife in my bed,” she said.

But she has the highest praise for the law enforcement personnel who have been working the case, calling them kind, protocol-driven and professional. P.O. Shauna Davenport stood outside her son’s door for a few hours so he could get some sleep that night, and accompanied her to the hospital, the victim said.

“I can’t tell you how much respect I have for these people. They are wonderful, kind, fierce, incredible protectors and we are so lucky to have these police officers and detectives and forensic detectives working in our city,” she said.

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