Ex-cabbie from Brooklyn bags 13 years for nightmarish assault on young rider

September 12, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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A former cab driver was handed a 13-year prison sentence on Friday for the heinous act of raping and assaulting a minor passenger. The culprit, Rafael Martinez, 35, from East New York, ensnared his 12-year-old victim by picking her up under the pretense of a regular cab ride only to terrorize her for hours on end.

“With today’s sentence, we are holding this defendant accountable for a brutal and horrific attack against an innocent young girl,” Gonzalez said. “I remain committed to keeping our streets safe from violent sexual criminals and to seeking justice for all victims of sexual violence.”

According to the details divulged, Martinez was supposed to transport the child from Fort Greene to her Bedford-Stuyvesant home on that fateful day of Aug. 10, 2020. The driver took a dark turn when he halted on Bergen Street, revealing a black firearm loaded with silver bullets. Threatening the young girl, he chillingly said, “If you say anything, these bullets are for you.”

A series of traumatic events followed as he assaulted her, later moving to a different location on Herkimer Street to repeat his horrific actions. After releasing the traumatized girl at her home around 8 p.m., she confided in her mother about the ordeal.

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Justice Donald Leo of the Brooklyn Supreme Court delivered the 13-year prison sentence, along with 20 years of post-release supervision. Martinez’s punishment also entails registration as a sex offender once freed.

This distressing case witnessed invaluable contributions from Paralegal Julia Holman of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau. The prosecution was led by Senior Assistant District Attorney Sapna Kishnani and Assistant District Attorney Kevin O’Donnell, under the guidance of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, the bureau chief.

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