DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF LERIO GUERRERO FOR 1998 RAPE AND BURGLARY IN LOWER EAST SIDE

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of LERIO GUERRERO, 32, for the rape and burglary of a 28-year old woman as she entered her apartment building in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1998. GUERRERO was not apprehended after the assault, but DNA from the attack was recovered and entered into a DNA database maintained by the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). The DNA profile was indicted in April 2005 as a “John Doe.” GUERRERO is charged with Rape in the First Degree, Sodomy in the First Degree, Burglary in the First Degree, Robbery in the First Degree, and Attempt to Commit the Crime of Robbery in the First Degree.

“For 13 years, the victim waited for justice,” District Attorney Vance said. “Thanks to DNA technology, we were able to file an indictment in this case before the statute of limitations expired, despite not having a suspect in custody. When we consider what a powerful tool DNA evidence is for solving crime, preventing crime, and exonerating the innocent, it is hard to believe that the law restricts DNA collection to less than half of all crimes. I urge our state lawmakers to fix this flaw by requiring DNA collection from all defendants convicted of a penal law crime and help us to protect communities from dangerous criminals.”

According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record, on November 8, 1998, GUERRERO followed the victim to her apartment building in the Lower East Side. He pushed open the building door behind her, threatened her with a piece of broken glass, and forced her to the rear of her apartment building. There, he raped her and took her wallet. He then forced her to an ATM to withdraw cash. As he tried to force her to an ATM at a different location to withdraw more cash, the victim broke away and ran into a deli.

Assistant District Attorneys presented the case to the Grand Jury and obtained a “John Doe” indictment on April 13, 2005, listing the perpetrator by his DNA profile.

Assistant District Attorneys Martha Bashford and Melissa Mourges, co-chiefs of the Forensic Science/Cold Case Unit, are handling the prosecution of this case. Special Victims Division Detectives Alan Andomir and Steve Lane, and Fugitive Task Force Detectives Scott Rosenthal and Robert Gonzalez assisted in the investigation.


Defendant Information:

LERIO GUERRERO, D.O.B. 11/10/1978
Staten Island, NY

Charges:
Rape in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Sodomy in the First Degree, a class B felony, 2 counts
Burglary in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count
Robbery in the First Degree, a class B felony, 2 counts
Attempt to Commit the Crime of Robbery in the First Degree, a class C felony, 1 count

A class B felony is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, and a class C felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

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