A 24-year-old man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl as she walked home from a bodega in the Bronx nearly four years ago, a chilling broad daylight attack that was partly caught on surveillance cameras, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Malcolm Lugo, who was 20 at the time of the 11 a.m. attack on Aug. 13, 2017, fled New York afterward and was captured after a six-week manhunt at a Massachusetts restaurant where he worked.
Lugo pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual act this past March. In addition to the prison time, he must register as a sex offender and be subject to 20 years' post-release supervision, prosecutors said.
Video surveillance showed Lugo grabbing the young victim from behind as she headed home from the bodega that August day and dragging her into an alley. He pressed what the victim believed to be a gun to her head and threatened to kill her, then sexually assaulted her, according to prosecutors and court papers.
Before he fled the scene, Lugo told the girl he knew where her family was and threatened to kill them. She told her mother what happened when she got home and the mother called 911.
Surveillance video from the day of the attack also showed Lugo changing and throwing away his clothes afterward -- and at several friends' houses across the city as he attempted to evade authorities. Then he fled to Massachusetts for weeks.
"The defendant followed a 12-year-old girl, who was on her way back home from a store, and sexually assaulted her in broad daylight. He also terrified the child by threatening to kill her and her family," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement announcing his sentence Tuesday. "We hope today’s sentence brings some solace to the victim and her family.”